The creator and three producers of “The Walking Dead” have filed a lawsuit against AMC Networks, seeking a greater share of the profits from the show and its spinoffs.
Co-creator Robert Kirkman (who penned the comics), Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, and former showrunner Glen Mazzara are claiming that AMC is keeping a “lion’s share” of the profits from the show, spinoff “Fear the Walking Dead,” and after-show “Talking Dead.”
Typically, a network pays a studio a licensing fee to air a show, and producers’ cut of the profits is based on that fee. For instance, “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” were produced, respectively, by the studios Lionsgate and Sony Pictures Television.
Because “The Walking Dead” is produced in-house, AMC can pay a low or non-existent license fee to itself. The producers are alleging that AMC is not paying a fair-market fee, in turn lowering their share of the profits.
AMC slammed the lawsuit as “opportunistic,” though the network also took care to express “enormous respect and appreciation” for the producers.
Still, this sets up a contentious situation between the show’s creative team and the network just ahead of the eighth season. It’s also not the only lawsuit AMC is grappling with over “Walking Dead.” Co-creator and original showrunner Frank Darabont, who was fired in Season 2, also sued AMC over his financial share.