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Tag: Lawsuits (27-39 of 53)

Woman accused of blackmailing '19 Kids and Counting'

An Iowa woman is charged with extortion in an alleged plot to get Discovery Communications Inc. to cancel the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting or pay her $10,000 in exchange for not revealing compromising photos of a cast member, according to federal court documents.

Teresa Hunt, of Bettendorf, is accused of threatening to release photos of a cast member in “apparently intimate situations” to a magazine.

Hunt was arrested Feb. 1 after she apparently sent television executives typed and handwritten letters demanding the show be canceled, along with a business card for “Perfect Pictures.”

The reality show follows Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children. READ FULL STORY

Supreme Court debates nudity and cursing on TV

In colorful give and take, the Supreme Court debated whether policing curse words and nudity on broadcast television makes sense in the cable era, one justice suggesting the policy is fast becoming moot as broadcast TV heads the way of “vinyl records and 8-track tapes.”

The case involves programing that is available to all viewers free over the air — even though many now receive it through paid cable connections — during hours when children are likely to be watching. READ FULL STORY

NBCUniversal slapped with new lawsuit in 'Ghost Hunters' dispute

There’s nothing paranormal about this case, but a pair of producers are nonetheless continuing their hunt for compensation, alleging NBCUniversal stole their idea for the network’s long-running Ghost Hunters franchise.

Parapsychologist Larry Montz and publicist Daena Smoller, who first sued the network five years ago, claim in the new suit, obtained by EW, that the network produced Ghost Hunters based off pitches made to those named in the suit between 1996 and 2001. Citing breach of implied contract and breach of confidence, the pair is seeking damages and compensation.

Only 2 months ago, the network was denied an appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court in the first suit, which has gone through several years of litigation. Montz and Smoller initially lost on the district level, but their complaint was later re-instated after an appeal, a move NBCUniversal disputed to the high court.

NBCUniversal did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

Piers Morgan faces UK media inquiry

CNN star interviewer Piers Morgan will talk about his former job as editor of one of Britain’s troubled tabloids at a judge-led inquiry into the practices of Britain’s scandal-tarred press.

Morgan will give evidence via videolink Tuesday to the Leveson inquiry in London. The inquiry was set up following the disclosure that the now-defunct News of the World tabloid had for years illegally eavesdropped on the voice mail messages of celebrities, athletes, and crime victims.

Morgan shot to national prominence when he was picked by Rupert Murdoch to run the News of the World at age 28. Under his tenure, the tabloid exposed actor Hugh Grant’s liaison with Hollywood prostitute Divine Brown. Grant has already given evidence about press abuse to the inquiry.

Since January 2011, he has hosted Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN in the time slot previously occupied by Larry King Live.

'Bachelor' producer sues Reality Steve website

UPDATED: The Bachelor to a pesky spoiler website: It’s war!

The producer of the long-running dating franchise on ABC has sued Stephen Carbone, aka Reality Steve, who runs a website that routinely runs spoilers (some correct, some not) about the show. Claiming $75,000 in damages, NZK Productions and Alternative Television, Inc. take issue with Carbone’s tactics of “soliciting information from participants, cast, crew and/or other employees” by “inducing them to breach their confidentiality obligations.”

READ FULL STORY

Ryan Seacrest sued for 'demeaning and humiliating' woman for 'Shahs of Sunset' reality show

Ryan Seacrest, Bravo TV, and others are facing a lawsuit for their upcoming show Shahs of Sunset, which has been dubbed “the Persian Jersey Shore.”

EW has obtained papers filed by show participant Kathy Salem yesterday against Seacrest, his production company, Bravo TV, and Berne Prods. In the suit, Salem claims production staffers misrepresented themselves, showed her only parts of the TV release waiver she signed, and defrauded her.

She also claims she was “verbally abused and physically assaulted” at a party filmed for the series, including the fact that “someone tried to strip [her] top off and another cast member by the name of Reza threw a cup of water in [her] face.” Salem alleges the defendants’ actions “exceeded all bounds of decency and was outrageous, intentional, malicious, and done for the purpose of causing [Salem] to suffer extreme and severe emotional distress,” which has impacted her physical health.

Salem is seeking an injunction against airing all footage featuring her and at least $100,000 in damages, plus legal fees.  Seacrest’s representatives declined to comment on the litigation. Shahs of Sunset is scheduled to premiere in February 2012. UPDATE: Bravo TV released a comment to EW regarding the suit: “Bravo has not seen a copy of the complaint, and thus we cannot comment.”

NBC, Andy Samberg sued for copyright infringement

A lawsuit filed last week against Saturday Night Live‘s Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island is no laughing matter. According to documents obtained by EW, St. Louis musicians Aleric “Rick tha Ruler” Banks and Monique Hines claim they created and copyrighted the music forming the basis for SNL digital shorts “Shy Ronnie” and “Like A Boss.” Banks and Hines say they sent master recordings to Samberg and his bandmates Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone, who then recorded their own lyrics over the plaintiff’s music. The music for “Like a Boss” appeared on SNL April 4, 2009. “Shy Ronnie” aired Dec. 5, 2009, and was nominated for a 2010 Emmy.

NBC Universal, which owns SNL, and Universal Republic Records are also named in the suit. Banks and Hines claim they have received neither credit nor royalties for their music despite petitions to Universal Music Group. They are seeking all profits gained from the skits, plus attorney’s fees, unspecified additional damages, and interest.

NBC Universal has no comment on the litigation.

'Real World' alum Tonya Cooley claims she was raped, sues MTV for sexual assault, negligence

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Bunim-Murray Productions tells EW, “After a thorough investigation, we have found Tonya Cooley’s claims to be completely baseless.”

ORIGINALLY: According to court papers obtained by EW, Real World Chicago castmember Tonya Cooley has filed suit against MTV, Bunim-Murray Productions, and reality stars Kenneth Santucci and Evan Starkman, claiming that she was sexually assaulted by Santucci and Starkman while filming The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins, and that the producers of the program did nothing to stop it.  READ FULL STORY

'Happy Days' lawsuit: Fraud claim thrown out by judge

Back in April, members of the cast of Happy Days, including Marion Ross, Erin Moran, Don Most, Anson Williams, and the estate of the late Tom Bosley, filed a lawsuit against CBS, claiming that the network violated breach of contract and owed them for merchandising revenues that they had been cut out of. The $10 million suit claimed the stars of the sitcom “were guaranteed five percent of royalties profits if their images appeared on a product.”

CNN.com reported yesterday that the fraud claim was thrown out by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White, who ruled in favor of CBS. READ FULL STORY

Official: Charlie Sheen settles suit with Warner Bros.

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It’s finally and officially over: Charlie Sheen and Warner Bros. TV have settled their differences.

The studio that produces Two and a Half Men just released this statement: “Warner Bros. TV, Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen have resolved their dispute to the parties’ mutual satisfaction. The pending lawsuit and arbitration will be dismissed as to all parties. The parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality over the terms of the settlement.”

The payout to Sheen wasn’t disclosed, though some publications have speculated it to be as high as $25 million.

Warner Bros. TV pink-slipped the actor last winter after he publicly derided Men creator Chuck Lorre. Sheen fought back in March by filing a $100 million suit demanding payment for unproduced episodes and compensation for the crew while claiming the studio “wrongfully attributed the suspension of the series and termination of Mr. Sheen’s contract on Mr. Sheen’s alleged statements, conduct, and condition, despite the fact that Mr. Sheen is in compliance with his contract.”

At the 63rd Annual Emmys earlier this month, Sheen seemed to indicate that a settlement was on the horizon after making an unexpected appearance to say ”I want to take a moment to get something off my chest and say a few words to everybody at Two and a Half Men. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you nothing but the best for this upcoming season. We spent eight wonderful years together and I know you will continue to make great television.”

Sheen is focused on developing a new sitcom called Anger Management with Lionsgate TV and veteran TV scribe Bruce Helford (The Drew Carey Show).

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Charlie Sheen close to settling case with 'Men' ex-bosses, say sources

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Either Charlie Sheen has officially launched his rehabilitation tour, or he’s suddenly feeling flush with cash.

In the last week, Sheen has made appearances that suggest he’s ready to close the book on his ugly goodbye from Two and a Half Men. Is the Cold War with his ex-bosses over? It could be: EW has learned from several sources that Sheen is thisclose to settling his lawsuit against Warner Bros., which pink-slipped the actor last winter after he publicly derided Men creator Chuck Lorre. Sheen fought back in March by filing a $100 million suit demanding payment for unproduced episodes and compensation for the crew while claiming the studio “wrongfully attributed the suspension of the series and termination of Mr. Sheen’s contract on Mr. Sheen’s alleged statements, conduct, and condition, despite the fact that Mr. Sheen is in compliance with his contract.” The settlement is expected to be in the eight-figure range.

Warner Bros. denied there is a settlement and declined to comment further. Stay tuned.

At the 63rd Annual Emmys on Sunday, Sheen made an unexpected appearance to say “I want to take a moment to get something off my chest and say a few words to everybody at Two and a Half Men. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you nothing but the best for this upcoming season. We spent eight wonderful years together and I know you will continue to make great television.” Last Thursday, he told Jay Leno “I would have fired my ass too,” and followed it up on NBC’s Today by saying he’d be willing to make a guest appearance on the CBS comedy.

Sheen does have something to promote: He agreed to a (fairly vindictive) roast by Comedy Central, which airs tonight. In the meantime,  Sheen is focused on developing a new sitcom called Anger Management with Lionsgate TV and is in talks with veteran TV scribe Bruce Helford (The Drew Carey Show) about fine-tuning the pitch before it goes to market. After courting other comedy writers like Greg Garcia (Raising Hope) or Chris Case (Retired at 35, Reba) to spearhead the project, Lionsgate has set its sights on Helford — a sitcom veteran who also executive produced George Lopez.

NBC secures Golden Globes broadcast

As it became clear the dispute over television rights for the Golden Globes wouldn’t be settled in time to prepare next year’s broadcast, a deal was brokered. While the face-off between the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions has been delayed until the start of October, the HFPA has confirmed that the two organizations made a one-year deal with NBC to broadcast the event on Jan. 15, 2012. The non-jury trial, which is expected to take about two weeks, was also handed over to Judge A. Howard Matz, a senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Though there have been rumors about an out-of-court settlement, HFPA sources denied that possibility.

Read more:
HFPA says Golden Globes ‘show will go on,’ regardless of lawsuit

L.A. judge pares down Nicollette Sheridan's suit against ABC

Nicollette Sheridan’s prospects are getting slimmer in her wrongful termination lawsuit against ABC and Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, reports the Associated Press. After limiting the damages the former Housewives villainess could win at October’s trial, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White urged Sheridan to resolve the suit. “You’re going to spend a lot of money on this case,” White told attorneys.

According to Sheridan’s suit, she was unceremoniously fired from the show after complaining about physical abuse from Cherry. Under White’s ruling, Sheridan is only eligible for one season’s wages (roughly $980,000), though she initially sought at least two on the basis of options in her contract. READ FULL STORY

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