The Walking Dead is one of the hottest television shows airing today. However, the man who developed the show and made it what it is today is now suing the network that airs it. According to The Hollywood Reporter on Dec. 17, Frank Darabont is suing AMC for hiding the show's profits so they won't have to pay him.
Darabont and his attorneys have accused the AMC network of hiding profits made from The Walking Dead through what is known as "vertical integration." What this means is that Darabont is accusing AMC of making sweetheart deals on the side to hide the profits from the talent.
This is something that many studios and networks allegedly do. Many times, talent signs on to a product and takes a smaller amount of upfront money in exchange for a cut of the profits down the line. In many cases, no matter how much money the movie or TV show makes, the studio always shows that it is in the red and lost money.
That is because of the "vertical integration" deals, which allows them to make money from a show like "The Walking Dead," but those profits are not part of the show's actual bank statements. This is something that has been a part of many profit lawsuits on shows like "The X-Files," "Smallville" and "Will & Grace."
This isn't even the first time AMC has been sued for allegedly trying to limit profits from show creators, as Matthew Weiner went to battle with AMC over "Mad Men," a fight that ended with AMC paying him $30 million. This was about the same time that "The Walking Dead" was becoming a huge hit and was also the same time that AMC decided to fire Frank Darabont from the show.
The Frank Darabont lawsuit against AMC alleges that they fired him so they wouldn't have to deal with paying him what they paid Weiner in the "Mad Men" case. Darabont now wants all the money that AMC has made off "The Walking Dead" made public so he can get what he feels the network promised him in the beginning.