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Warner Bros. & ‘Smallville’ creators settle multimillion-dollar fight

smallville

Warner Bros. Television and the co-creators of Smallville have settled a multimillion-dollar dispute concerning profits from the long-running television series. The agreement was announced Monday during a status hearing, but Hollywood Esq. reports no paperwork has been signed.

Series creators and executive producers Miles Millar and Alfred Gough and series producers Tollin/Robbins Productions sued WBTV in 2010, accusing the company of licensing Smallville to its co-owned WB and CW networks “for unreasonably low” fees, thereby cutting the plaintiffs out of tens of millions of dollars.

They amended their claims of breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing in April 2012 to include the allegation that WBTV’s sister company DC Comics was brought into the profit pool without the contractually required approval, greatly reducing the plaintiffs’ profit participation.

Warner Bros. settled with Tollin/Robbins in early January, but Millar and Gough’s portion of the lawsuit had been headed for a June jury trial. The plaintiffs were seeking more than $100 million in damages. The terms of the settlement haven’t been made public.

Smallville aired for 10 seasons, from 2001 to 2011. Gough and Millar left the series in 2008 after seven seasons.

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Comments

12 Comments

DC needs to do a Superman comic … about all the lawsuits they keep having over Supes.

akkadiannumen

May 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I love the fact that DC can’t share in profits made from its own characters without “contractually required approval”… Sigh… Seriously, wtf…

Add this to the fact that the show while not perfect in it’s seasons under Millar and Gough went completely down the tubes for it’s last 3 seasons and how it even survived that long is still a mystery.So much for Marvel property in the hands of Marvel/Disney continuing to succeed with Marvel projects.All you have to do is squeeze everybody out of the profit margin. Love Jesus S!’s idea for a Superman Law Suit comic. Maybe the Skullkicker guys could do it.

ahh…. man i miss this show…. i found enjoyment from every season.

akkadiannumen said, “I love the fact that DC can’t share in profits made from its own characters without “contractually required approval”… Sigh… Seriously, wtf…”

WB and DC have common ownership i.e. when consolidated it’s all one big monster.

Let’s say that you and I have a partnership to split all profits equally. Then I go and create a corporation in which I own 100% of the stock. I then bring that corporation in on our agreement as a third member of our equal profit sharing arrangement.

Now you get 1/3, I get 1/3 and my corporation gets 1/3 of the equally split profits. So I’ve turned what used to be a 50/50 split with you, into 67/33 split with you. I’m fairly sure, you’d be ticked.

KATS

@Kats: Thank you for the breakdown.I think my association with the last DC title on my list Batman Beyond will end soon before the inevitable cancellation I was going to hang in until. This plus the Bill Finger article is enough for me.

This news illlustrates that DC’s ineptitude, in matters of editorial best-practice or public relations, is equally matched by WB’s sheer incompetence, in matters of litigiation.

Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)

May 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

@alton, if you’re blaming DC for Bill Finger not getting credit for Batman, you don’t know the situation. When DC bought Batman, Bob Kane insisted that he get sole credit for creating the character and had it written into the contract.

It’s not DC’s fault, it’s Bob Kane’s.

DC needs to make a full length superman movie with Tom Welling as superman.

@Robert That would be awesome, except that Tom Welling doesn’t want to play Superman anymore.

From the looks of that series finale, I don’t think Tom Welling wanted to play Superman in the first place.

Will always be one of my favorite shows of all time!!!! its an amazing series when you watch every episode, in exact order…js

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