6:04pm PT by Ashley Cullins
CAA Fires Back After AMC Vows to End Packaging Fees Amid 'The Walking Dead' Profits Fight
A $280 million fight over profits from The Walking Dead is escalating into a full-on war between the show's network and CAA.
AMC informed the agency on Monday that it will no longer pay package fees — a common (and lucrative) industry practice in which an agency forfeits its standard 10 percent commission in exchange for an upfront payment and backend compensation.
The show's co-creator Frank Darabont sued in 2013, alleging AMC made a sweetheart deal licensing the show to itself in order to run a deficit so he and CAA "never see that first dollar" of profit participation.
CAA's attorney Chad Fitzgerald tells The Hollywood Reporter this latest move by the network is merely an attempt to litigate the dispute outside of court.
"AMC obviously remains unhappy that Frank Darabont and CAA have not given an inch, are still aggressively pursuing their meritorious claims against AMC regarding profits on The Walking Dead and other causes of action in the litigation, and have seen consistent success before the Court to date," he says. "Mr. Darabont and CAA look forward to vindicating their rights at trial. In the meanwhile, CAA will always do what is in the best interests of its clients."
Next in the legal battle, Justice Eileen Bransten will rule on dueling motions for summary judgment. If the fight goes to trial, it isn't expected to happen before 2018 because of Bransten's schedule.