[02/27/04 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Set to Oust 'Will & Grace' Creators
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Will and Grace are set to get some new company.

NBC is expected to announce shortly it plans to replace "Will & Grace" executive producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who also created the series, with new showrunners as early as next week.

The news, first reported by trade publication Daily Variety, is seen as the end result of a messy legal battle between the duo and the Peacock.

Kohan and Mutchnick filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against NBC back in December, claiming the network failed to negotiate a fair license fee for the NBC Studios-produced series due to NBC and NBC Studios falling under the same corporate umbrella. "While (NBC Studios) purported to engage in arm's length and good faith negotiations with NBC, NBC in fact effectively sat on and controlled both sides of the 'bargaining' table," the complaint read. "NBCS' executives in the purported negotiations ultimately reported to NBC."

In addition, the suit claimed a host of additional improprieties including preferential treatment to series director James Burrows, reducing fees owed to the duo's reps at Vision Arts Management as well as threatening to cancel Kohan and Mutchnick's other series at NBC, "Good Morning, Miami," should they follow through with their lawsuit.

NBC and NBC Studios worked out a $5 million per episode deal for "Will & Grace's" fifth, sixth and seventh seasons back in March of 2002 in a pact valued over $300 million. That's reportedly on par with the license fees for "Friends" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" at the same point in their respective lives.

NBC said at the time they carefully documented the entire process and even hired independent consultant Chuck Larsen to work on the deal, adding they were fully willing to take the complaint all the way to court. Now industry insiders are saying NBC is set to file its own lawsuit against Kohan and Mutchnick, claiming the duo breached their contract with the network. Their suit, specific details of which were not revealed, will reportedly argue along the lines that Kohan and Mutchnick planned to sue NBC all along as they were offered and agreed to an independent third party to oversee the negotiations.

Regardless of the outcome of either lawsuit, Kohan and Mutchnick are not expected to continue with the series next season. A replacement showrunner (or showrunners) is expected to be announced in the coming days.

As for "Miami," an NBC source has confirmed that the series won't return to the Peacock's schedule until after May sweeps and that production was shut down after the show's 18th episode this season. While technically not canceled, the news more than likely spells the end of the sophomore comedy. The show's cast members also appear to be moving on as Constance Zimmer has already signed on to the CBS drama pilot "Cooking Lessons."

  [february 2004]  


[10/24/16 - 02:45 PM]
"Frozen," Walt Disney Animation Studios' Blockbuster Film, Makes Its Network Broadcast Premiere on ABC This Holiday Season
Look for "The Making of Frozen: A Return to Arendelle" that same night, Sunday, December 11 on the Alphabet.

[10/24/16 - 02:19 PM]
Video: MTV's "Sweet/Vicious" First Look Promos!
MTV's new series starring Eliza Bennett and Taylor Dearden and created by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson premieres November 15.

[10/24/16 - 01:21 PM]
TLC & Discovery Family to Premiere "Unichef: Uniting Through Food" on Thursday, November 17
The special will premiere at 7/6c on TLC followed by an encore presentation at 9/8c on Discovery Family Channel.

[10/24/16 - 01:20 PM]
Louis C.K., Ryan Reynolds, Tracy Morgan and More Join the Guest List as TBS's "Conan" Heads to New York for a Week of Shows
It will also continue O'Brien's string of innovative road show broadcasts from cities across the United States and around the globe.

[10/24/16 - 12:38 PM]
Food Network Gets Festive for the Holidays with the Return of "Cake Wars: Christmas"
Jonathan Bennett hosts the six hour-long episodes filled with the most over-the-top Christmas cake confections ever seen.

[10/24/16 - 11:21 AM]
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' "Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas" 2016 Original Movie Premieres
"Love Always, Santa" will kick things off Sunday, November 6 on the cable channel.

[10/24/16 - 11:15 AM]
National Geographic Channel Announces Unprecedented and Historic Global Release of "Before the Flood"
"In our minds, there is no more important story to tell, no more important issue facing our planet than that of climate change," said Courteney Monroe.

[10/24/16 - 10:26 AM]
"Underfire: The Untold Story of PFC. Tony Vaccaro," Recounting the Life of a WWII Combat Infantryman and War Photographer, Debuts Nov. 14 on HBO
The film chronicles the life and vision of this remarkable man, exploring how photography defines the way the public perceives armed conflict, and revealing the sheer difficulty of survival while taking photos in a war zone.

[10/24/16 - 10:26 AM]
The CW Orders New Seasons of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," and "Masters of Illusion" for Summer 2017
The new seasons of these series will return as part of The CW's 2017 Summer schedule, with dates and times to be announced later.

[10/24/16 - 10:23 AM]
Video: Four New Promos for FX's New Drama Series "Taboo" Starring Tom Hardy
The new original series from Tom Hardy and Ridley Scott premieres early 2017.

[10/24/16 - 10:09 AM]
Video: Amazon Releases Retro 80s Commercial for "Red Oaks" Season 2
Look for the new season to premiere on Amazon Prime Video November 11.

[10/24/16 - 09:13 AM]
Amazon Original Series "The Grand Tour" Announces Studio Recording in Nashville, TN
"The Grand Tour" will launch in 4K on Friday, November 18 exclusively for Amazon Prime members.

[10/24/16 - 08:54 AM]
Seahawks-Cardinals "SNF" Leads Preliminary Results for the Night Among the Big 4 in Every Key Measure
NBC spins the numbers for Sunday, October 23.

[10/24/16 - 08:43 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: "Sunday Night Football" Keeps NBC on Top
The Peacock once again leads the evening among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[10/24/16 - 07:55 AM]
Mike Tirico to Make Horse Racing Debut as Host of NBC's Primetime Coverage of the 2016 Breeders' Cup
"What a great event and venue for my maiden voyage with our incredibly talented horse racing team," Tirico said.