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If you’ve ever been cheated out of money, whether at your job or in your personal life, then you probably didn’t take it too lightly. And it probably didn’t involve tens of millions of dollars. But that’s the case with Bones executive producer Kathleen Reichs and stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, as the three have come together to slam Fox with a gigantic lawsuit that claims they’ve been cheated out of contractually-owed profits for years.
The trio’s legal teams put together a complaint that was filed on Monday, and it shined a spotlight on the allegedly unlawful actions of 21st Century Fox, Fox Entertainment Group, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and Fox Broadcasting Company. The biggest complaint, understandably, is that they are owed many millions of dollars, with Deschanel and Boreanaz contractually set up to earn a 3% share of the series’ profits, while Reichs (who wrote the novels that the show is loosely based upon) is meant to receive 5% of it. Guess how much money they got from that? Zilch, it seems.
No specific number is given to signify what they think they’re owed, according to Deadline, but the suit does call for a full accounting of all things Bones-related, along with a court order to enforce their rights and the creation of a trust to handle the money they’re owed. That’s assuming they win the case, of course.
If this kind of behavior sounds familiar, that’s because executive producer Barry Josephson did almost this exact same thing last week. And most of the talking points here fall under the same umbrella of shady dealings and number-fudging. Josephson facilitated an audit for the first seven seasons of Bones, and he discovered that Fox has allegedly been underreporting revenue for years, as well as flat out not reporting on foreign licensing fees and mishandling other financial details to keep the show from looking as profitable as it had been.
Another similarity between the lawsuits involves the events that supposedly happened when the show was renewed beyond Seasons 5 and 6. Fox is claimed to have strong-armed everyone into agreeing to take cuts in their license fees under the penalty of having the series canceled if they didn’t. So it was basically a way to get them to take less money than what the network already wasn’t going to pay them anyway. Gotta love giant companies that have their employees’ best interests in mind.
It’s not clear what kind of timetable this case will adhere to. There’s a good possibility that the same judge and jury will hear this case as well as Josephson’s, should the complaints be similar enough in nature. Here’s hoping the facts come out and the right side gets the victory, just like a Bones episode!
Bones airs on Thursday nights on Fox, and it’ll be back on December 10. There’s no telling when it will return following its midseason hiatus, though, as Fox has remained mum on the subject.