'Gilmore Girls' Producer Files New Lawsuit Over Series Profits

Gavin Polone says he's not receiving his fair share of profits because of improper accounting practices.
Courtesy of Netflix; Getty Images
'Gilmore Girls'; (inset) Gavin Polone

Gilmore Girls producer Gavin Polone has been battling with Warner Bros. over his share of profits from the mother-daughter series for more than a decade — and now he's launching a new dispute that calls into question the studio's accounting practices.

Polone last sued Warners in 2016, claiming he deserved to share in profits for the Netflix revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The parties settled a couple of months later, but the producer still feels he's being shorted.

"This case is part of a long and troubled line of successful artists of all stripes being forced to seek recourse in court against a corporate producing partner that manipulates its backroom accounting and distorts the interpretation of its contractual obligations," states the complaint, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. “Here, Defendants have used various improper accounting practices to improperly manipulate the profitability of Gilmore Girls.”

Polone is suing Warner Bros. and parent company Time Warner for breach of contract, fraud and unfair business practices, among other claims.

According to the complaint, Polone's 2000 contract with Warners entitles him to 11.25 percent of the modified adjusted gross revenue (MAGR) of the series and that share was upped to 12.5 percent after the first dispute. 

The producer says Warners is calculating his profit participation payments based on receipts that improperly deduct a 10 percent SVOD distribution fee. He also claims the MAGR is being unfairly reduced by applying production costs attributable to other shows and exaggerating overhead expenses.

Warner Bros. has not yet commented on the complaint, which is posted below.

Polone, a producer-director, is an occasional contributing writer for The Hollywood Reporter.