Frank Darabont, the developer of the massively successful zombie-apocalypse television series The Walking Dead, is suing AMC over unpaid profits and wrongful termination.
Darabont and his agency CAA have filed a law-suit against the network, which can be read via Deadline, claiming that “despite four seasons of unprecedented programming success and profitability for (AMC), Darabont has not received and may never receive one dollar in Profits for developing the Series.”
The allegations claim that the network’s license fee formula “is clearly designed to ensure Plaintiffs never see that first dollar.” This formula pays participants from a pool of funds know as Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts – profits the studio receives, minus production costs and other deductions. Basically, if the series doesn’t rake enough of a profit then the participant doesn’t see a cent. The suit claims that AMC has set a license fee of $1,450,000 per episode, which would only cover around 65% of production cost, meaning that the network would run a deficit for every episode.
Apart from this, Darabont and CAA are suing for wrongful termination. The suit claims “AMC fired Darabont without cause shortly before Season 2 aired precisely in order to avoid its contractual obligations to pay him increased Profits (which vested fully at the conclusion of Season 2) and to avoid its obligation to negotiate to hire him as showrunner for Season 3.”
Darabont and CAA are asking for unspecified “monetary damages” to be determined by a jury trial. AMC is yet to comment.