Universal City Studios has made a lot of money over the years from TV producer Glen Larson's projects. The producer has had a hand in creating iconic series such as Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., the original Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. However, the relationship between the studio and the 76-year-old producer has gotten ugly, as he says he is owed millions of dollars that the studio has refused to pay.
"As the shows make more money for Universal, the deficit that Larson Productions must overcome continually increases,” Larson's complaint read. “It’s Hollywood’s version of being a sharecropper.”
Universal is angry back at Larson, saying that he has taken what it calls a "Ready, Fire, Aim" approach to money. It says that it would have preferred an audit instead of having to battle it out in the public eye in a courtroom.
Larson says that Universal never sent him any profit participation statements, despite all the money his programs earned them. Question - if this was going on, why did he keep making programs for them?
Judge James Dunn has been angered with the studio, asking its lawyers, "What is the difficultly in identifying the TV shows in which Glen Larson, a profit participant, played? ... Either he does or doesn't have a right to contingent compensation... What is the issue there?"
"It sounds simple," a Universal lawyer replied. "It's not all that simple."
Of course it isn't.