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Producer Sues Former NFL Players Over Failed TV Series

FORT WORTH, Texas (CN) - Super Bowl champion Tony Dorsett and his son owe a producer nearly $123,000 for the pilot of a TV series that fell through, SER Media claims in court.

The Colleyville, Texas-based company agreed to produce a 24-episode TV series called "Dorsett Roundtable" based on misrepresentations by Dorsett and his representatives, according to its lawsuit in Tarrant County Court.

SER Media sued the former NFL player and his son, Anthony Dorsett Jr., along with Dorsett Roundtable, Tausha Johnson and Jerold Baldwin.

Dorsett was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1977 and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1994, after 12 seasons in professional football. His son, Anthony, was a defensive back in the NFL from 1996 to 2003.

SER Media says the Dorsetts' representatives falsely claimed to have $5 million for production costs and a distribution deal lined up for the series.

Johnson and Baldwin, acting on Dorsett's behalf, persuaded SER Media to produce an hour-long program called "Dorsett Super Bowl Roundtable" that would air before the 2011 Super Bowl, according to the lawsuit.

"The defendants led plaintiff to believe that the program was to be the pilot and initial program for the series for a television airing just before the February, 2011, Super Bowl game," SER Media claims.

But the company says it was never paid for producing the pilot for the series, which never materialized.

After SER Media had "incurred substantially all of the financial obligations" for the pilot program, it discovered that there wasn't a distributor for the series, the producer claims.

"In fact, the plaintiffs were shocked to learn that the defendants did not even have a distributor for the program as a pilot," the lawsuit states.

The producer says it tried to curb potential losses by securing a deal with Fox to distribute the pre-Super Bowl show. It claims Dorsett Roundtable failed to line up guests, sponsors or advertisers as promised.

"At the last minute, contrary to the agreement, defendants asked plaintiff to locate sponsors for the program," the complaint states. "Plaintiff was left to the task of locating guests for the program interviews except for two guests provided by Johnson for the program. Also, [Dorsett Roundtable] did not pay for the services provided under the agreement."

The pilot eventually aired before the 2011 Super Bowl and "was broadcast again during the 2012 Super Bowl game ... for a use that can only be identified as for the personal financial gain of the defendants," according to the lawsuit.

SER Media says the defendants still owe it nearly $123,000 for its work on the pilot and series.

The company seeks exemplary and punitive damages for breach of contract, civil conspiracy, conversion, fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

It is represented by J. Matthew Anthony of Anthony & Middlebrook in Grapevine, Texas.

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