Don Johnson Entitled to $15M 'Nash Bridges' Cut
(CN) - Don Johnson is still entitled to a 50 percent share of the TV show "Nash Bridges," worth $15 million, a California appeals court ruled.
Don Johnson Productions sued Rysher Entertainment for unpaid royalties and residuals in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Rysher, which originally signed Johnson to appear in the series, is owned by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who currently appears on the business game show "Shark Tank," and fellow billionaire Todd Wagner.
Johnson, who also starred in the 80s in "Miami Vice," also named 2929 Entertainment LP and Qualia Capital LLC in the lawsuit.
The trial court ruled in Johnson's favor, awarding him a $15 million judgment. The defendants appealed, claiming that the contract contained a waiver of the statute of limitations that had to be renewed every four years.
However, the Los Angeles-based Second District Court of Appeals disagreed, affirming the lower court's ruling in Johnson's favor in an opinion written by Justice Paul Turner.
"In a previous successful series, Mr. Johnson had received no adjusted gross receipts compensation; there was extensive negotiation of the copyright ownership provision; during the negotiations, Rysher Entertainment LLC demanded during the negotiations that no copyright rights arise until the series was eligible for syndication; and Rysher Entertainment's chief executive officer doubted the series would ever be eligible for syndication," Turner wrote.
However, Johnson's original award of $23.2 million was reduced, as the court ruled that the jury had improperly discussed and included pre-judgment interest as part of the award.
Nash Bridges aired from 1996 to 2001 on CBS, with Johnson starring as a San Francisco police inspector. The show has aired in worldwide syndication since 1999.