Gilmore Girls made a triumphant return to TV back in 2016 with a four-part revival called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and it turned out to be a big hit for Netflix, even if not all fans were on board with that crazy twist ending. The show could even come back for another revival season. Unfortunately, not all news on the Gilmore Girls front is positive at this point. Gilmore Girls producer Gavin Polone has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros., Time Warner, and the CW, alleging lost profits.
Gavin Polone stated that he was hired back in 2000 by Warner Bros. TV division to work as an executive producer for Gilmore Girls, a deal which entitled Polone to a hefty 11.25% of the series' adjusted gross revenue. Given the show's success, that 11.25% should translate to a pretty high profit. According to the lawsuit, Warner Bros. units used loopholes and technicalities to deny Gavin Polone and his services firm their due cut of Gilmore Girls' profit.
One of the sketchy practices alleged in the suit is of Warner Bros. deducting expenses for items that were never covered in the agreements with Polone in relation to the A Year in the Life revival, including video-on-demand distribution fees as well as the overstating of production costs that seemingly reduces the show's profit for the sake of denying money to Polone. The suit claims that Polone's attempt to audit Warner Bros. in an official challenge was hindered by WB tactics of "delay, avoidance and misdirection" to prevent the truth from coming out.
This lawsuit arose due to the release and distribution of the Netflix revival via streaming video. The complaint claims that a 10% distribution fee was applied to the first run of the revival in a move that reduced the show's reported gross total by almost $2 million and therefore denied Gavid Polone money due to him in his original executive producer deal. The same is allegedly true for streaming of the original run of Gilmore Girls.
The official allegations listed in the lawsuit notably include breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices, although others are listed in the suit as well. Gavin Polone is seeking damages and unpaid profits as well as a permanent injunction that aims to prevent Warner Bros. from misdirecting audits and and underreporting income.
This is not the first time that Gavid Polone has filed suit against Warner Bros. regarding his due Gilmore Girls profits, according to Deadline. In 2007, a forensic audit of Warner Bros.' accounting worked in Polone's favor, and he received a "significant" payout, although an exact figure is not available. The lawsuit claims that a second audit came in 2014 that discovered $1 million was owed to Polone due to underreported income and inaccurate deductions.
For the sake of Gilmore Girls fans, we can only hope that this lawsuit does not affect the chances of a second revival season on Netflix or perhaps the other project that star Lauren Graham pitched. We'll have to wait and see. If you're now in the mood for some Gilmore Girls, you can catch all seven seasons of the series' original run as well as the Year in the Life revival streaming on Netflix. For your other viewing options, be sure to swing by our 2018 Netflix premiere guide and our midseason TV premiere schedule.