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Scam Of The Living Dead? Three 'Walking Dead' Producers Sue AMC Over Alleged Hidden Profits

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Scam Of The Living Dead? Three 'Walking Dead' Producers Sue AMC Over Alleged Hidden Profits

Some of the most scrumptious brains behind the blockbuster zombie show “The Walking Dead” want to take a big bite out of their bosses.

Producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara and David Alpert joined former executive producer Frank Darabont in filing suit against AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ: AMCX), in what The Hollywood Reporter estimates could result in a ghoul $1 billion in damages.

The news comes just days after comic book writer Kirkman signed a deal with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) to create shows for its streaming service, the latest in a feeding frenzy by media companies snapping up intellectual property providers to compete for viewers abandoning broadcast and cable television.

Related Link: Disney Vs. Netflix: Content Is King As Big Media Seeks To Capture Cord-Cutting Viewers

Night Of The Litigious Dead

The Hollywood Reporter says Hurd, Mazzara and Kirkman, the latter of whom created the source material, believes AMC undersold the rights (AMC’s Studios sold the rights to its sibling, AMC the channel) yet oversold the production costs to keep profits artificially low.

Each producer gets a cut of the profits, therein lies the heart of the complaint. They allege fraudulent business practices, among other things.

All three are still connected to the show. Darabont was fired as showrunner in the second season and filed his suit in 2013. He’s seeking $280 million in a suit that has reached the summary judgement phase.

Business As Usual?

“These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common – they follow success,” AMC said in a statement. “Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been the target of litigation like this, and “The Walking Dead has been the #1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise.”

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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Image Credit: By Daniel Means - originally posted to Flickr as The Walking Dead is a Big Deal, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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