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If you’re going to piss someone off, either intentionally or unintentionally, one of the best ways to do is to screw them out of millions of dollars over a years-long period. (Not that any of you guys would do that.) That’s exactly what Bones executive producer Barry Josephson is alleging happened to him, though, and he just dropped a giant lawsuit on both Fox and parent company 20th Century Fox Television, claiming (among other things) they’ve bilked him of profits for years.
Thanks to the results of a complicated audit that Josephson initiated, which covered the first seven seasons of Bones, it’s been allegedly revealed that the network’s fraudulent accounting has resulted in loads of money being kept away from profit participants. It’s claimed that Fox’s revenue numbers were underreported by millions of dollars, and that the network never reported on almost $20 million earned through foreign TV licensing fees, as well as revenue brought in by the Fox website and Hulu, which is co-owned by 21st Century Fox. It also appears that Fox took an additional $8 million and misclassified it as “home video” earnings, which further skewed how the dough got parceled out.
Oh, and that’s far from all Josephson is saying. He’s also claiming that there was some mishandling with Defined Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts (MAGR), and that Fox classified certain expenses in ways that would work against Josephson and others behind the scenes. As well, the lawsuit claims 20th Century Fox TV cut a deal with Fox Broadcasting that valued the show below what its market value was, which resulted in even more money being kept from profit participants.
He’s still not done! According to THR, Josephson is also alleging that Fox execs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, among others, made threats to him and other profiting parties that if they wouldn’t take a reduced license fee for future seasons of Bones, then the network would just cancel the show outright. He also says that in an effort to convince him, Fox told him that other parties had already agreed to the reduced fees, but that was all lies. And this all apparently happened during multiple renewal processes.
In the suit, Josephson is saying he is the person who first brought Bones to Fox, which led to him partnering with longtime showrunner Hart Hanson and then getting the stars cast. And seeing as how he’s been an E.P. on the series since the beginning, that should make him one of the most powerful people behind the scenes, but apparently that’s just not the case. It doesn’t seem like Bones will be on the air too much longer, so there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Josephson, who also executive produces AMC’s Turn. And that light might be tinted green from all the money he could rake in.
Bones will be back on Fox on Thursday, December 10, although we’re not quite sure when it will be returning after the midseason hiatus.