CBS filed a lawsuit today against the writer-producer of an upcoming NBC series, claiming the show was developed for CBS and was taken without CBS’s permission to NBC, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show is “The Firm,” based on the John Grisham novel. The suit names Lukas Reiter and Entertainment One, who developed the show for CBS and, according to the network, received $250,000 and other compensation.
According to the story: “The lawsuit says Reiter later asked if he could take the project elsewhere and CBS said no but ‘Entertainment One and Reiter have moved full speed ahead, in direct violation of CBS’s rights,’ according to the suit. The network claims the project, which was then sold to NBC and is set to air in the fall with Josh Lucas starring, is substantially similar to the version developed for CBS.”
The story quotes the complaint as saying: “The question in this lawsuit is whether a production studio and writer may re-sell and exploit a television project that the same writer already sold to another studio. Basic principles of contract and tort law clearly prohibit this sort of double-dealing, yet this is precisely what Defendants have done.”
NBC is not named in the suit, the story notes.