“The Walking Dead” creator is suing AMC for his share of the profits from the AMC hit that he took from the pages of a comic book and put on the TV. According to CNN on Dec. 18, the creator of “The Walking Dead” series, Frank Darabont, is accusing AMC of some underhanded dealings by using their own cable company in order to manipulate the profits.
The profits are put in the pool that is shared by the participants who receive a share of the profit for this series.
The series is produced by AMC and they allegedly charged their own cable company an “artificially low” fee for the license to carry the show. Comparing this to AMC’s “Mad Men” show, which uses an outside, or third party production company, the license fee is almost three times what “The Walking Dead” pays.
The “Mad Men” production company gets $3 million per episode, where as “The Walking Dead” gets just $1.45 million per episode. This is the money that goes into the pool for shared profits.
“Mad Men” is an extremely popular show, but draws just 25% the amount of viewers that “The Walking Dead” does. The discrepancy in money between what AMC charges for “The Walking Dead” as compared to “Mad Men,” is stated in the lawsuit as the “improper and abusive practice of self-dealing.”
Both Darabont and the Hollywood talent agency that helped pitch the series “The Walking Dead” to AMC are claiming they should have had “tens of millions” coming to them in profits that they’ve been deprived of. This is because of the manipulation of the profits they were able to do by using their own company.
The lawsuit said that the contract signed between Darabont and AMC provides him with 20% of the “modified adjusted gross receipts.” This is a pool of the total of the money brought in after the production costs are taken out.
"License fees can be manipulated, however, when the entity producing the show and the entity broadcasting it are controlled by the same parent company, or where the network owns and/or controls the production company," the complaint said.