The creative team behind the 1990’s Tim Allen sitcom Home Improvement has sued Walt Disney Co. (parent company to ABC) for failing to properly exploit the show. In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, the Wind Dancer Production group including writer-producers Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra, Tam O’Shanter and David McFadzean are seeking millions of dollars in lost revenue for actions taken out by Disney during their syndication of the show in New York.
According to the suit, when Disney sold Home Improvement into syndication in New York they failed to consult with the team about how the sitcom was to be exploited. In addition, the plaintiffs say that the show was sold into syndication “for no monetary consideration”. In the suit, the claim is made that Disney allowed Home Improvement to be syndicated "at well before the fair market value" and “against the interests of the profit participants”. The plaintiffs claim they have not received their fair share of profits from the show, which has generated $1.5 billion for Disney, of which they feel they are entitled to 75 percent of.
This is not the first time that the Home Improvement team has been involved in a lawsuit with Disney. In the mid-1990’s they filed one of the first “vertical integration” lawsuits, helping to change the way studios and networks work with one another and determine who profits from the success of shows.