[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]  


[03/16/18 - 12:58 PM]
Paramount Network Presents "It Was Him: The Many Murders of Ed Edwards"
When Wayne Wolfe discovered that infamous serial killer Ed Edwards was his estranged grandfather he became compelled to answer one potentially life-altering question - are killers born, or are they made?

[03/16/18 - 11:30 AM]
USA Network Renews "The Sinner" for Season 2
Season two lures Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) back to his hometown in rural New York to assess an unsettling and heart wrenching crime - parents murdered by their 11-year-old son, with no apparent motive.

[03/16/18 - 11:30 AM]
"Elvis Presley: The Searcher," Two-Part Music Documentary Chronicling His Creative Journey, Debuts April 14 on HBO
The project follows his creative journey from childhood through the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions.

[03/16/18 - 11:00 AM]
Jake McDorman and Nik Dodani Join the Cast of "Murphy Brown" When It Returns to CBS
McDorman will play Avery, Murphy's millennial journalist son who is following in his mother's footsteps, perhaps too closely, and has his mother's competitive spirit and quick wit.

[03/16/18 - 10:45 AM]
Discovery Gives MacGyver a Run for His Money in All-New Series "Last Outpost"
Backcountry builders Clint Greathouse and Todd Anderson create one-of-a-kind builds, using nothing but recycled parts, out-of-the box creativity, and sheer determination.

[03/16/18 - 09:21 AM]
Food Network Launches New Snapchat Show "Chopped U" Headlined by Lazarus Lynch
New episodes of the six-week show air Sundays on Snapchat's Discover page, and previously released episodes will be available using Snapchat's Search feature.

[03/16/18 - 09:16 AM]
Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn and Lamorne Morris to Star in National Geographic's "Valley of the Boom," Six-Part Limited Series Set in '90s Tech Bubble from STXtv
John Karna, Oliver Cooper and Dakota Shapiro also star in the project.

[03/16/18 - 08:19 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Charts with NCAA Tournament Coverage
The Eye's primetime portion leads the evening in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[03/16/18 - 08:02 AM]
Video: Showtime(R) Reveals Premiere Date and Sneak Peek for "Patrick Melrose"
The Benedict Cumberbatch-led drama will launch on Saturday, May 12 at 9:00/8:00c.

[03/16/18 - 07:55 AM]
Freed's Bakery Serves Up More Show-Stopping Cakes in New Season of "Vegas Cakes"
Look for the first of 13 new episodes on Monday, April 2 at 10:00/9:00c.

[03/16/18 - 07:10 AM]
EPIX Captures Espionage Drama "Deep State"
Starring Mark Strong and Joe Dempsie, the gritty new drama is set to premiere on Sunday, June 17 at 9:00/8:00c.

[03/16/18 - 07:06 AM]
"Long Island Medium" Returns to TLC on Sunday, April 8th with All New Emotional Episodes and a Star-Studded Finale
Last December, the season ended with a question mark over Theresa and Larry's relationship as fans followed them through what has been their most emotional and personal journey yet.

[03/16/18 - 07:01 AM]
Adult Swim Kicks Down the Door to the Festival Market
Adult Swim announced today that it is expanding its portfolio of live experiences with the debut of the new Adult Swim Festival, October 6-7, in Downtown Los Angeles.

[03/16/18 - 06:31 AM]
"Bobby Kennedy for President" - A Netflix Original Documentary Series Directed by Dawn Porter Launches Globally April 27
The eye-opening and transformative four-part series utilizes rare and never-before-seen archival footage - much of it digitized for the first time - along with new interviews with those that worked closely with RFK and knew him well.

[03/15/18 - 11:22 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, March 15
Updates include: Missy Peregrym to lead "F.B.I." at CBS; Peyton List set to star in FOX's "Gone, Baby, Gone"; and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje cast in ABC's "The Fix."