Apparently not everyone is jazzed about Netflix’s revival of Gilmore Girls. Original producer Gavin Polone says Warner Bros Television balked at compensating him for the four telefilms it is producing for the streaming service based on the series, and he’s taking his beef to court.
Listing his former production company Hofflund/Polone as the plaintiff and seeking a jury trial, Polone filed the suit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here). “Upon learning that production had begun on the Subsequent Episodes, plaintiff’s representative reached out to defendant regarding plaintiff’s compensation under the Operative Agreement,” the suit claims. “Defendant refuses to compensate plaintiff in any way for the Subsequent Episodes of Gilmore Girls. Defendant argues that the Subsequent Episodes do not fall under the terms of the Operative Agreement, making the absurd claim that the Subsequent Episodes are derivative works based on the television series Gilmore Girls. Defendant also appears to erroneously believe the Subsequent Episodes are not considered a ‘television series’ because they are being produced for Netflix, rather than a traditional broadcast network.”
WBTV told Deadline it had no comment on the suit.
Most of the original cast of the series — which aired 153 episodes on the WB and the CW from 2000-07 — is returning for the Netflix telepics. Gilmore Girls creator/exec producer Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino, a fellow Gilmore Girls EP, are writing and directing the four films, which are set in present day and unfold over a calendar year, each covering a different season.
Polone’s suit says his original deal with WBTV in 2000 entitled him to $32,500 for each original 60-minute episode of Gilmore Girls, plus “a specific percentage of the ‘Modified Adjusted Gross’ — which in summary reflects the funds available after certain agreed deductions” and an 0nscreen executive producer credit. The breach-of-contract suit claims damages of at least $195,000. The suit adds at the end, almost as an afterthought: “On information and belief, defendant is breaching the Operative Agreement due to the personal animus of [WBTV] chief executive Peter Roth toward Polone.” No details were given.
Attorneys Eric George and Elena Nutenko of Browne George Ross LLP in Los Angeles are representing Polone in the suit.