Apparently, when you have an exclusive contract with a major network to develop a project based on a hugely popular novel and equally popular film, you aren’t supposed to take it to another major network on the sly. Someone should have told Lukas Reiter, who is being sued by CBS for doing just that. CBS filed the lawsuit today in the Los Angeles Superior Court claiming Reiter had a contract, had been paid a quarter of a million dollars along with other compensation, and then jumped ship The Hollywood Reporter reports.

According to the lawsuit, Reiter did ask CBS if he could take the project elsewhere, and the answer was a very clear no. Not clear enough it seems, because Reiter did take the project to competing network NBC, which went ahead with the series and is prepared to air it midseason. CBS is quite obviously not pleased and made its position known.

Based on The Firm a blockbuster bestselling novel by John Grisham and 1993 hit film, the series stars Josh Lucas (best known for American Psycho) in the role made famous on the big screen by Tom Cruise. The series picks up where the novel left off. With the series already in production, the lawsuit puts NBC in a sticky situation.

NBC is not named in the lawsuit which was filed against Reiter and his company, Entertainment One. This type of legal battle is usually taken care of quietly, but CBS is clearly not willing to keep it under wraps. In the end, the Peacock may be the one who winds up with the best part of this deal; what better way to get some buzz worked up over your new legal series than with a good courtroom drama?

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