BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Disney loses sitcom case
The Walt Disney Company
Disney said it was "very disappointed" by the verdict
A US talent agency has won $14.9m from the Disney Corporation after a Los Angeles court ruled the media giant had underpaid commissions on TV show Home Improvement.

The Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) sued Disney over payments on the show, created by the agency's Matt Williams.


This case was brought over a matter of principle, and justice prevailed

APA lawyer Larry Feldman
A jury found in favour of the agency after two days of deliberations, following a two-week case.

Disney is likely to appeal against the ruling.

Home Improvement was a highly successful situation comedy for Disney and the ABC network from 1991 to 1999.

Disney will share its financial liability with Home Improvement stars Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson, and the show's producers and director.

The show was created by Mr Williams, who previously wrote for The Cosby Show and was an executive producer for Roseanne.

As his talent agent, APA received a commission for bringing him to Disney, which made the programme.

Disney was also supposed to pass to APA a portion of the licence fee it received from the ABC network, which broadcast the show.

Under the agreement between Disney and ABC, the original licence fee was $410,000 per show in the first year, climbing by 4% every subsequent year, according to APA lawyer Larry Feldman.

But when the show became a hit, the licence fee grew at a much faster rate until ABC was paying Disney $3m per episode by its final season.

'Elated'

But according to Mr Feldman's case for the APA, Disney continued to pay the agency as if the licence fee was growing by just 4%.

APA started the action, for breach of contract, in 1997.

After the jury found 11-1 in favour of the APA, Mr Feldman said: "We are absolutely elated.

"This case was brought over a matter of principle, and justice prevailed."

But a Disney spokeswoman said the company believed there were "solid grounds for appeal".

"We are disappointed by the verdict, particularly since we had prevailed on the vast majority of the claims in this case," said the spokeswoman.

"We believed that we had satisfied our obligation to APA."

See also:

24 Jul 02 | Wales
19 Jul 02 | Business
20 Jun 02 | Business
08 Nov 01 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes