October 30, 2011 5:43pm PT by Matthew Belloni
'Reba' Showrunner Sues 20th Television for Profits (Exclusive)
The creator and former showrunner of the longrunning sitcom Reba has sued production company 20th Century Fox Television claiming she has been cheated out of profits from the show.
Allison Gibson, who presided over the hit Reba McEntire comedy during its first season on the WB, claims in a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by THR that she is entitled to a specific share of the show's revenue and that 20th TV has improperly accounted to her.
Reba aired from 2001-06 but Gibson claims she departed as preparations for the second season were underway. She alleges her profit participation of 10 percent of modified adjusted gross was improperly reduced by 20th through various tactics, including lowering it to 7.5 percent because she left the show as its second season was getting started and double-deducting other paricipations when calculating Gibson's share.
Gibson claims that 20th paid her an advance against profits in 2008 but that in January 2010 additional payments became due. This isn't the first time Gibson has sued 20th. Her lawsuit over an audit period that ended in 2006 is currently on appeal.
She claims she's owed at least $1.1 million in damages from the improper profit calculation.
"Ms Gibson's complaint, like the one she filed previously, lacks merit and includes claims she previously lost on in court," a 20th TV rep tells THR in a statement. "We anticipate a similar outcome in this case."
The suit, filed by Los Angeles attorney Richard Ross, alleges causes of action for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and fraud.