The Walking Dead is the most popular show on television, and it has been gaining in popularity season after season. But it didn’t start off too shabbily either, with the first season generating the best ratings AMC has seen for a show’s premiere ever, and the best ratings on TV in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Those pencil-pushing stats are important to know because season one of the show was run by Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont, who ended up getting canned by AMC halfway through season two of The Walking Dead.
And now Darabont wants to be paid for kicking off The Walking Dead’s massive success. The Hollywood Reporter has read a certificate of trial readiness which has Darabont and his agents at CAA seeking over $280 million from the network. AMC told THR the “claim has no basis in reality and we will continue to vigorously defend against this lawsuit.”
AMC claims Darabont was fired for not holding director’s tone meetings, which Darabont claims isn’t true. According to him, AMC fired him for complaining about the budget getting slashed from $3.3 million to $3 million an episode, and for AMC pocketing a tax credit from the state of Georgia for filming there. Shortly after putting in a request to film reshoots on the first episode of season two, AMC released Darabont and the two parties have been warring in court ever since.
It’ll still be a long while for the slow wheels of justice to turn and decide who is owed what. The judge assigned to the case already has a full docket for 2017, meaning the lawsuit from Darabont won’t even see the inside of a courtroom until 2018. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be more explosive filings from Darabont with potentially embarrassing tales about AMC executive behavior.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)