‘Wonder Years’ Exec|Says Studio Owes Him


     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A former Hollywood executive claims Twentieth Century Fox owes him royalties and bonuses for syndication of the 1990s TV show, “The Wonder Years.”



     Edward Gradinger, former president of New World Pictures Ltd., sued Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. in Superior Court. He says he owed domestic syndication payments of roughly $250,000 per episode for the series, which aired on ABC from 1992 to 1997.
     “Through his hard work and commitment to the development of high quality television programming, Mr. Gradinger negotiated an agreement with New World Pictures Ltd. that allowed Mr. Gradinger to pay the ongoing benefits of his investments, and required New World to pay him royalty or ‘bonus’ payments for The Wonder Years,” according to the complaint.
     Gradinger says that Fox paid the bonuses for 10 years, but recently “decided simply not to live up to its agreement.”
     He claims that a distribution rights agreement with Turner Program Services was transferred to Fox in 1997, and that Fox made the payments after “The Wonder Years” aired on Nickelodeon, ABC Family and ION Television.
     But he says Fox changed its tune after the show was licensed to The Hub cable network in late 2010.
     “On or about March 17, 2011, over 10 years after Fox conceded that Mr. Gradinger was entitled to bonus payments for ‘The Wonder Years’ on both syndication and non-standard television runs, Fox has refused to pay Mr. Gradinger,” the complaint states.
     Gradinger says he was a New World executive during 66 episodes of the TV show.
     He seeks damages for breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. He is represented by Larry Feldman with Kaye Scholer.

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