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Consumer Law

‘Columbo’ Creators Win First Phase of $135M Profits Trial Against Universal

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury concluded that Universal City Studios wasn’t allowed to deduct $160 million in distribution fees for the 1970s detective series. The verdict amounts to a big initial win for series co-creator William Link and the heirs of co-creator Richard Levinson, who waited 45 years before getting their first profit participation check despite Columbo taking in more than $600 million in revenue during its life cycle.

Through loan-out companies, Link and Levinson’s heirs are suing Universal with contract and fraud claims. The lawsuit is another on the “Hollywood Accounting” front, and this one is both an investigation of what happened decades ago as well as one of the rare instances of a fraud case against a major studio actually getting to trial.

Read the source article at Hollywood Reporter.

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