The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and others are suing AMC

The Walking Dead AMCYou might remember a few weeks back when it was reported that Frank Darabont was suing AMC after being fired as executive producer. His current lawsuit has reached the summary judgment phase, and he filed for $280 million based on the show’s profits. It’s stated that the cost per episode of The Walking Dead paid by AMC studios to AMC Network is far too low compared to the estimated value of 30 million by the plaintiffs.

Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara and David Alpert seem to be agreeing with Darabont in that their deal is a pretty bad one. Comparably, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, which were produced by non-AMC studios, charged a much higher amount than the current $2.4 million per episode that AMC studios are being paid by AMC networks. When you considered they are part of the same family, it’s understandable why they would keep their price low.

But considering that The Walking Dead is AMC’s most popular and longest running show with network television numbers, it’s easy to understand why they are fighting for 30 million per episode. This would be a substantial amount of money for each of them as they are paid in percentages. The season finale of the last season had 15.5 million viewers, beating out both Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones for 5 years now.

Robert Kirkman’s current deal is 5 percent of profits from The Walking Dead, while David Alpert is paid 2.5 percent, Gale Anne Hurd is paid 7.5 percent, and showrunner Glen Mazzara receives 1.5 percent. When you consider that Frank Darabont was the original showrunner and an executive producer, his percentage is probably one of the higher of the groups. This would result in over a combined billion dollars owed, based on the current valuation of 30 million per episode for The Walking Dead.

This leads to the next question. If this lawsuit prevails for the plaintiffs, could the show’s actors be next with renegotiating contracts after seeing the real value of the show? Or could this lawsuit put production to a halt because of the cost? We will all pay close attention as to what’s next with this lawsuit as it could change the way the show operates based on how it turns for AMC.

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Robert Galvan
Robert Galvan 327 posts

For as long as he can remember, Robert asked the questions that others wouldn't about love, life, and death which brought about his interest in the human psyche and moral compass, resulting in an infatuation with comics, zombies, and movies leading to a long standing relationship with his imagination.