LOS ANGELES (CN) – Warner Bros. claims CBS owes it $49 million for the hit TV series “Two and a Half Men.” In Superior Court, Warner Bros. says it agreed to renew CBS’ 4-year license for two more years at “only a modest increase … on the condition that CBS would agree, as is customary in the industry, that Warner Bros., would reap some additional benefits in the fifth and sixth seasons if the show proved successful.”
It’s a smash, Warner Bros. says, and CBS owes it $49 million.
Warner Bros. says, “CBS has reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue from ‘Two and a half Men’ … . It is the crown jewel of CBS’s Monday night lineup. On the strength of ‘Two and a half Men,’ CBS routinely attracts on Monday nights more of the viewers that advertisers most want to reach, adults between the ages of 18 and 49, than any other broadcast network.”
In renewing the original 4-year license, Warner Bros. claims, CBS “agreed that Warner Bros. would receive ‘premium’ payments above and beyond the license fee in any fifth and sixth seasons. CBS’s obligation to pay such compensation, however, was dependent upon the program remaining on the air for more than four seasons and becoming a top 20 show by its fourth season.
“Under the parties’ agreement and based on the tremendous success of ‘Two and a half Men,’ CBS now owes more than $49,000,000. CBS has reaped the benefits of the tremendous success of ‘Two and a half Men’ but wants to deny Warner Bros. the right to its agreed-upon share. It should not be permitted to do so.”
Warner Bros. is represented by Lynn Scaduto with Munger, Tolles & Olson. This 14-page complaint includes an additional 14 pages of attachments, including correspondence and the licensing agreement.