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[02/27/04 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Set to Oust 'Will & Grace' Creators
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Will and Grace are set to get some new company.

NBC is expected to announce shortly it plans to replace "Will & Grace" executive producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who also created the series, with new showrunners as early as next week.

The news, first reported by trade publication Daily Variety, is seen as the end result of a messy legal battle between the duo and the Peacock.

Kohan and Mutchnick filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against NBC back in December, claiming the network failed to negotiate a fair license fee for the NBC Studios-produced series due to NBC and NBC Studios falling under the same corporate umbrella. "While (NBC Studios) purported to engage in arm's length and good faith negotiations with NBC, NBC in fact effectively sat on and controlled both sides of the 'bargaining' table," the complaint read. "NBCS' executives in the purported negotiations ultimately reported to NBC."

In addition, the suit claimed a host of additional improprieties including preferential treatment to series director James Burrows, reducing fees owed to the duo's reps at Vision Arts Management as well as threatening to cancel Kohan and Mutchnick's other series at NBC, "Good Morning, Miami," should they follow through with their lawsuit.

NBC and NBC Studios worked out a $5 million per episode deal for "Will & Grace's" fifth, sixth and seventh seasons back in March of 2002 in a pact valued over $300 million. That's reportedly on par with the license fees for "Friends" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" at the same point in their respective lives.

NBC said at the time they carefully documented the entire process and even hired independent consultant Chuck Larsen to work on the deal, adding they were fully willing to take the complaint all the way to court. Now industry insiders are saying NBC is set to file its own lawsuit against Kohan and Mutchnick, claiming the duo breached their contract with the network. Their suit, specific details of which were not revealed, will reportedly argue along the lines that Kohan and Mutchnick planned to sue NBC all along as they were offered and agreed to an independent third party to oversee the negotiations.

Regardless of the outcome of either lawsuit, Kohan and Mutchnick are not expected to continue with the series next season. A replacement showrunner (or showrunners) is expected to be announced in the coming days.

As for "Miami," an NBC source has confirmed that the series won't return to the Peacock's schedule until after May sweeps and that production was shut down after the show's 18th episode this season. While technically not canceled, the news more than likely spells the end of the sophomore comedy. The show's cast members also appear to be moving on as Constance Zimmer has already signed on to the CBS drama pilot "Cooking Lessons."





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· COOKING LESSONS (CBS)
· EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (CBS)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· GOOD MORNING, MIAMI (NBC)
· WILL & GRACE (NBC)











[03/03/15 - 11:07 PM]
Development Update: Tuesday, March 3
Updates include: IFC cancels "Garfunkel & Oates"; Jon Foo set as lead in "Rush Hour" at CBS; and Jack Gore is the "Problem Child" at NBC.

[03/03/15 - 04:07 PM]
Idris Elba Steps Onto Set for "Luther" Two-Part Special
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[03/03/15 - 03:18 PM]
Spike TV Partners with Dwayne Johnson for Event Programming Development Deal
Johnson and Dany Garcia will executive produce shows ranging from big live events, specials, sports and initiatives surrounding our troops and veterans.

[03/03/15 - 03:12 PM]
"Ellen's Design Challenge" Among Highest-Rated Series in HGTV History
HGTV spins the numbers for Monday, March 2.

[03/03/15 - 02:39 PM]
"Live with Kelly and Michael" Announces Its Sixth Annual "Top Teacher Week"
From May 4-8, "Live" will honor teachers who go above and beyond for their schools, communities and students.

[03/03/15 - 02:22 PM]
Social Media Powerhouse ABC Family Delivers During February 2015 Driven by "Pretty Little Liars" and "The Fosters"
ABC Family spins the digital numbers for the month of February.

[03/03/15 - 02:21 PM]
Spike: The Ones to Watch - Network Launches New Logo and Tagline
The tagline encompasses the network's strategic shift to a general entertainment network delivering compelling original entertainment with an edge and a distinctive point of view.

[03/03/15 - 12:56 PM]
TNT Ranks as Basic Cable's #1 Network in Primetime Live + 7 Delivery of Total Viewers, Adults 18-34 and Adults 18-49
Turner further spins the numbers for the week of February 9-15.

[03/03/15 - 12:54 PM]
"48 Hours: Blaming Melissa" Is Saturday's #1 Program with Viewers and Adults 25-54
CBS spins the numbers for Saturday, February 28.

[03/03/15 - 12:37 PM]
Science Channel Skyrockets in February, Charts Best Month Ever
Science Channel spins the numbers for the month of February.

[03/03/15 - 12:31 PM]
Sarah Michelle Gellar to Star in Season 2 of "Star Wars Rebels"
Gellar will join the talented voice cast that includes her husband Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, Taylor Gray and David Oyelowo.

[03/03/15 - 11:52 AM]
Nickelodeon Brings Ultimate "Kids' Choice Awards" Interactive Experiences to Kids and Families Nationwide
Beginning Saturday, March 7, Nickelodeon will launch the Kids' Choice Awards Experience, a six-city tour featuring meet and greets with Nick stars and one of-a-kind interactive elements.

[03/03/15 - 11:45 AM]
Ovation TV Greenlights Production on Original Documentary Film, "Ford's Theatre: America's Playhouse"
The project is being co-produced by Ovation Studios and 1895 Films and is set to premiere on April 14 at 10:00/9:00c.

[03/03/15 - 11:13 AM]
truTV Says Yes They Can to The Grawlix's "Those Who Can't," As Network Greenlights Its First-Ever Full-Length Scripted Comedy
The comedy about a trio of frustrated high school teachers stars show creators Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy, members of the Denver-based comedy troupe The Grawlix.

[03/03/15 - 11:11 AM]
Spike TV Orders Eight More Episodes of "Lip Sync Battle"
The featured performers for the new eight episodes include Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Justin Bieber, Queen Latifah, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Mike Tyson and Terry Crews.