8:29am PT by Eriq Gardner
Fox News Hit With $4.5 Million Lawsuit for Walking Away From Reality TV Show
Leftfield Pictures, the producer of History Channel's Pawn Stars, is going to court against Fox News Network LLC with a claim that it had a deal for a reality series and was in the middle of producing episodes when the defendant halted the agreement and refused to pay.
The plaintiff is seeking $4.5 million in a complaint filed on Friday in New York Supreme Court.
There's no detail about what the show was to feature, but Leftfield touts itself as a pioneer in "item-based" reality television programming and says the show was to be Fox News' first reality television show and broadcast on the Fox Business Network.
The parties are said to have entered into a production services agreement in July 2014, and work continued through October, when Fox allegedly called a stop. The following month, Fox wrote a letter that it "cannot go forward with Leftfield," according to the lawsuit.
"Fox News had no contractual basis for refusing to pay the rest of its financial commitment under the Agreement," adds the complaint, which is heavily redacted at the moment. Terms of the agreement are shielded.
In May 2014, a controlling stake of the parent company of Leftfield was acquired by ITV studios for $360 million. There's also a legal connection between Leftfield and Fox News. Chris Silvestri, Leftfield's general counsel, spent 16 years at Fox News and worked on the news magazine program Fox Files, according to the company's website.
Leftfield is represented by John Crossman and Jeffrey Friesen at Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman.
In January, Fox Business premiered a series called Strange Inheritance, which probably deserves the honor of being the channel's first reality show.