Talent Manager Sues HGTV Star Jamie Durie For Commissions

Jamie Durie, host of HGTV's The Outdoor Room, is being sued by talent manager Lance Reynolds, who claims he was promised credit and compensation as executive producer on the show.

Durie had a landscaping show on Australian television before coming to the U.S. and finding fame as Oprah Winfrey's favorite gardening expert.

Reynolds, via his Atlantic Talent Management company, claims he helped Durie achieve that fame and helped land him a show by introducing him to television network executives. According to a 2005 Personal Management Agreement, Durie agreed to pay ATM 15% commissions. 

But Reynolds says he was owed more.

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in LA Superior Court, the parties allegedly entered into an oral agreement that conferred a 51% ownership stake in The Outdoor Room to Atlantic Films and Television, an affiliate of ATM.

In 2008, a dispute arose over the nature of the parties' business arrangement, which allegedly resolved itself by Durie agreeing, among other things, to make Reynolds an "executive producer" on the show and pay him "a program/series fee on a favored nations basis with all other executive producers."

This agreement was made orally, according to the lawsuit, the written terms went unsigned thanks to "personal legal troubles of Durie's former attorney."

But Reynolds says the agreement is in force, confirmed by e-mails from Durie's company, JPD Media.

Reynolds claims that Durie has breached the contract and is seeking monetary restitution. The complaint says that 39 episodes of The Outdoor Room have aired and that Durie has been "compensated handsomely."

Durie couldn't be reached for comment.

E-mail: eriqgardner@yahoo.com
Twitter: @eriqgardner