One day after a judge stopped Lifetime from broadcasting its scheduled movie about murderer Christopher Porco, the network has filed an emergency appeal. “The March 19 injunction was improperly entered and should immediately be vacated or stayed,” Lifetime’s lawyers said in the motion (read it here) filed today in New York state Appellate’s Division. Romeo Killer: The Christopher Porco Story was set to air this Saturday night. On Tuesday, NY Supreme Court Judge Robert Muller granted a jailhouse injunction request by Porco, who is serving 46 years to life in prison for killing his father and trying to kill his mother. The Albany Times Union first reported the appeal. The injunction not only pulls the plug on airing the film but also stops the Lifetime from promoting it — meaning the network must pull ads and TV spots immediately. “A preliminary injunction will have a devastating financial and reputational impact on Lifetime, with millions of dollars in investment, lost revenues, and untold harm to its brand,” Lifetime states in its motion, adding, “Lifetime has spent over two million dollars acquiring the United States and International rights to the movie, and nearly one million dollars promoting the premiere of the movie on March 23, 2013.”
Like with the Amanda Knox case, where lawyers back in 2011 tried to stop a Lifetime movie about the trial of the U.S. student, injunctions have been sought against networks in such instances. However, as in the failed Knox effort, it is rare that they are granted. No hearing has been set yet, but sources tell Deadline that Lifetime thinks it can get the order overturned before the weekend.
Lifetime Entertainment Services is represented by Henry Greenberg and Michael Grygiel of Albany’s Greenberg Traurig and David Schultz and Cameron Stracher of New York firm Levine Sullivan Koch & Schultz.