(UPDATED From May 25 PM) Having been cancelled and then resurrected, Timeless will be back for another season on NBC but the Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke executive produced series won’t be facing any more time in federal court.
Over eight months after plaintiff Onza Entertainment went after the EPs, the Comcast-owned net, and Sony Pictures Entertainment with claims that the not yet even debuted time travel drama was “ripped off” from their Spanish drama El Ministerio del Tiempo (The Department of Time), the whole hotly contested matter has avoid an expected trial to become a thing of the past.
“Plaintiffs Onza Partners SL and Onza Entertainment SL and Defendants Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and Sony Pictures Television Inc., Eric Kripke, Kripke Enterprises, NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Shawn Ryan doing business as Middkid Productions, John Davis, and Davis Entertainment Company, by their attorneys of record hereby stipulate …that the entire civil action may be and hereby is dismissed with prejudice, with each party bearing that party’s fees and costs of suit,” said a May 15 filing in the copyright case that was made public earlier this week (read it here).
Having recently survived an attempt by NBC, Sony and the EPs to get it tossed back in November, this recent filing shuttering of the infringment and breach of contract action for the now renewed Timeless indicates that both sides came to a deal. “All parties are happy with how matters have been concluded,” a source close to the situation tells Deadline, though no further details of the deal they struck were provided.
What we do know, thanks to Onza’s initial complaint of September 27 in U.S. District Court for Central California, is that the company was deep in talks of bringing the Spanish show to the U.S. Those negotiation for an American version of the format went into late-July 2015, when Sony agreed to produce the show and gave terms including an 18-month option.
Then suddenly everything stopped and next there was an August 2015 Deadline report that NBC had bought a project, then titled Time, from Kripke and Ryan — both of whom were under overall deals with Sony. That project had a pilot production commitment, with Sony and John Davis’ studio-based Davis Entertainment set to produce. Time was picked up to pilot in January of this yearand landed a series order as Timeless four months later. Sounding a lot like the Spanish show, the NBC series premiered on October 4 starring Matt Lanter, Abigail Spencer and Malcolm Barrett.
“Obviously, it does not take a lot of time to put together a ‘new’ and creative product ripped off from someone else,” noted Onza’s filing of last September with no small irony. “Oddly, at the moment of the August 26, 2015 publication of the Deadline Release, Sony abruptly and without any warning terminated all negotiations relative to Onza’s American Version.”
Now, all that rancor is, to use the phrase again, a thing of the past.
The Sony defendants, NBCU, Kripke, Ryan, John Davis and their own companies were represented by Louis Petrich and Edward Ruttenberg of L.A. firm Leopold, Petrich and Smith. Onza was repped by Devin McRae and Michael Smarinsky of Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae in the matter.