Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, who served as showrunners and executive producers of "Smallville" during its first seven seasons, have sued Warner Bros. TV for breach of contract, The Hollywood Reporter says.
Tollin-Robbins Prods., which helped develop the show, is also a plaintiff in the suit.
The suit claims that the show’s original producers were shortchanged millions because Warner Bros. TV licensed the program to its affiliated WB Network and successor the CW at lower-than-market rates, the publication says. Warner Bros. TV declined to comment on the lawsuit, THR adds.
According to THR, "So-called "vertical integration" cases were all the rage at the beginning of the decade, thanks to the consolidation of TV production and distribution following the lifting of ‘fin-syn’ rules. That resulted in a wave of lawsuits brought by profit participants on shows whose owners were licensing content to sister-company distributors. Participants on ‘Home Improvement’ and ‘The X-Files’ reportedly received massive settlements after claiming in lawsuits against Disney and Fox, respectively, that vertical integration cost them millions. A trial over profits from NBC’s hit comedy ‘Will & Grace’ actually reached a jury, but the case was settled before the verdict was read."