According to The Hollywood Reporter, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, the stars of the Fox hit series “Bones,” and executive producer/author Kathy Reichs are suing 20th Century Fox Television for allegedly shortchanging them out of “tens of millions of dollars.”
Each participant was allowed periodic accounting statements, but “as the series became more profitable for Fox over the years, these accounting statements issued by 20th TV counter-intuitively showed plaintiffs falling farther and farther away from achieving profits”, the suit alleges.
According to the complaint obtained by THR, Reichs – who wrote the Temperence Brennan novels that inspired the series – is contractually entitled to five percent of profits while Deschanel and Boreanaz have contracts that entitle them to three percent of the series profits, while Reichs contract entitles her to five percent.
Another Bones executive producer, Barry Josephson, filed a similar lawsuit against Fox on November 25. The lawsuit claims they didn’t see profits for years, despite the success of the show. The plaintiffs claim that many of these revelations came to light when they exercised their rights to request an audit; that audit discovered more than 20 different accounting violations.
Bones is the longest-running drama in Fox history, but fans have to wonder whether this lawsuit could negatively impact the show’s future.
A Fox spokesperson declined to comment on the new suit. The show now is in its 11th season on Fox. The alleged tricks included failure to pay proper licensing fees for the show’s popularity on Hulu, sweetheart deals with affiliates and failure to offset production charges with product-placement revenue, the lawsuit claims. It did so under the threat of cancelling the series unless plaintiffs accepted its non-negotiable license fee figure, and then concealed information about the true value of that figure.