Team Behind Hit 1990s Sitcom Sues Disney — Case Follows a Landmark ‘Vertical Integration’ Lawsuit Over the Same Show

Mar 1, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The creative team behind a successful 1990s comedy series has sued Walt Disney Co. for allegedly failing to properly exploit the show, The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq. reports.

The lawsuit over “Home Improvement” was filed by the Wind Dancer Production Group, which includes writer-producers Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra, Tam O’Shanter and David McFadzean, the story notes.

They claim that Disney sold "Home Improvement" into syndication "for no monetary consideration" and neglected to consult with them about how the show should be exploited, the story says. They also claim Disney failed to pay a fair share of profits, which has been estimated at $1.5 billion for Disney. The group is asking for 75% of net profits, which the story says is unusually high.

The lawsuit marks the second time the group has sued Disney, the piece notes. The first lawsuit was in the mid-1990s, when the group filed what was one of the first "vertical integration" lawsuits, which the article says sought "millions in revenue that the show generated from being exploited by Disney-affiliated companies in ways that underreported money owed to profit participants."

The story notes, "That case settled and helped change the ways that studios and networks deal with each other and with the talent that profit from successful shows."

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