CBS Settling $100 Million ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Lawsuit

Mar 12, 2014  •  Post A Comment

On the eve of trial, CBS has reportedly decided to settle a $100 million lawsuit over its hit crime drama "Hawaii Five-0." The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports that the network is settling the suit filed by former talent agent George Litto.

Litto, who was the agent of the original "Hawaii Five-0" creator Leonard Freeman, claims he was cut out of financial participation in the reboot of the show. Freeman died in 1974.

"The parties were before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge this week during the first phase of a trial when CBS attorney James Curry informed the court that the matter had been resolved. The parties are said to be finalizing a deal. Attorneys in the matter declined comment," THR reports.

The report notes that after Freeman’s death, "Freeman’s widow represented by Litto renegotiated a deal with CBS to allow the network the right to produce the show in the future and shifted responsibility for production from Freeman’s company to CBS. In return, CBS gave Freeman a substantial stake in the show and a sweetheart arrangement in which it wouldn’t be allowed to recoup production overages.

"After the original incarnation of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ went off the air in 1980, a dispute then erupted between CBS on one hand and Litto and Rose Freeman on the other over who held separated rights."

The dispute appears to have dragged on in various forms for decades.

THR notes: "The larger aspect of the case dealt with the 2010 arrangement that CBS made with the Freeman estate on the present reboot of the hit CBS crime drama."

The report adds: "The dispute now appears to be drawing to a conclusion. Terms aren’t known but it’s likely to be a deal primarily between Litto and Freeman with CBS as a beneficiary of the release of claims."

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