The network isn’t out of the legal surf after all. Today, CBS’ motion to be dismissed as a defendant in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit over the Hawaii Five-O reboot has been denied. Judge Elizabeth Allen White turned down the network’s effort to again be let out of talent agent George Litto’s suit in a hearing Thursday in LA Superior Court. CBS was hoping to see a repeat of its temporary exit from the suit earlier this year. Not that CBS seemed to be sweating today’s decision. “Today was a procedural ruling only, not about the evidence of the case. We’re confident going forward that the facts presented will support a dismissal. Mahalo,” a spokesperson told me after the hearing.
In January, Judge Gregory Alarcon agreed with the network’s then demurrer and removed it from the suit that Five-O creator Leonard Freeman’s talent agent first filed in May 2012. But in July, Alarcon changed his mind and put CBS back in the lawsuit with Freeman’s heirs after the plaintiff assured the court that suit over the show was about money and not CBS’ ability to continue to produce the series. Litto claimed in his initial $10 million suit that the Freeman’s heirs and CBS keep him out of negotiations for the reboot. After Freeman’s 1974 death, Litto and the producer’s widow Rose came to an agreement that gave him substantial rights in connection with future versions of the series. With Danno booking bad guts weekly, Hawaii Five-O originally ran from 1968 to 1980. CBS brought back an updated version of the series in 2010.