'NCIS' Creator Sues CBS Over 'Los Angeles' Spinoff

Is CBS' "NCIS: Los Angeles" a spinoff or sequel of "NCIS"?

Is CBS' NCIS: Los Angeles a spinoff or sequel of NCIS? That's the question at the center of NCIS and JAG creator Don Bellisario's lawsuit against CBS Studios. Filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, the complaint for unspecified damages claims Bellisario, who was fired from the hit show a few years back, was not given the first opportunity to develop and participate financially in the franchise extension.

"Bellisario has the contractual right to participate in and be compensated for NCIS:LA because it is, among other things, both a sequel to and a spinoff of JAG and NCIS within the meaning of the 'first opportunity' rights provisions of Plaintiffs’ contracts with CBS," according to the lawsuit.

Read the full lawsuit here.

CBS has responded to the suit:

"Don Bellisario has no rights to what he is claiming in this suit. The contract is clear, the facts are undeniable and the courts won't need Naval intelligence to conclude that the case has no merit. We continue to honor all of our obligations to Mr. Bellisario under the actual agreement."   

E-mail: matthew.belloni@thr.com