Millionaire Producers May Sue Their Agent
Seeming to take the advice of its courtroom foes, London-based Celador Entertainment is planning to sue the William Morris Agency (now the WME Agency) for what Britain's Guardian newspaper described today (Monday) as "acting improperly in negotiating a deal" with Disney's ABC for the hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire . During the recent trial of a lawsuit brought by Celador, which claimed that Disney had used contorted accounting to claim that the show never made money, Disney lawyer Marty Katz remarked, "If Celador Productions is unhappy with the deal they got, they have got the wrong defendant here" and suggested that the company ought to sue its representatives. In the end, Celador won the ABC/Disney lawsuit and was awarded $269 million, but Celador founder Paul Smith is now telling reporters that he may now sue the agency for millions of dollars. "We haven't decided categorically whether we have the appetite to proceed with another litigation, but we certainly believe we have the grounds to do so," Smith said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. According to the report in the Guardian, Celador has made only $21 million over more than a decade from Millionaire in the U.S., while the agency has made $16 million.