Brothers at Arms: CBS' Men Slapped with $49 Mil Lawsuit
Two and a Half Men
CBS' success with Two and a Half Men has come at a price. Warner Bros. TV has filed a $49 million lawsuit against the network, claiming the Eye has refused to reimburse the studio in production fees and costs since the sitcom became a hit.
In papers filed Tuesday, Warner Bros. states that its licensing agreement with CBS entitles the studio to recoup costs incurred during Men's first four seasons, known as a "deficit recoupment," once the show has proven to be a success. A renegotiated deal for seasons five and six stipulates a "modest increase" in fees.
"CBS has reaped the benefits of the tremendous success of Two and a Half Men but wants to deny Warner Bros. the right to its agreed-upon share," the studio said in the suit.
According to the papers, CBS agreed to pay a $750,000 per episode license fee during the first four years. The show's average episode price tag, however, rounds out to $1.22 million, meaning the studio's deficit over four seasons totals $61.1 million, Warner Bros. estimates.
A CBS spokesman only had this holiday-themed statement to provide: "Wow, I wonder what they got the other networks for Christmas."
Men is currently in the middle of its sixth season and remains TV's top-rated comedy.