Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, stars of hit TV show Bones, have turned their hand to some real-life detective work, and have discovered that the production company behind the show, 20th Century Fox, has allegedly been cheating them out of millions of dollars in profits.
The pair, along with Executive Producer Kathleen Reichs, have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against 20th Century Fox TV, Fox Broadcasting and its affiliated companies, for breach of contract and fraud.
It is alleged that Deschanel, Boreanaz, Reichs and others working on the show, were cheated out of the show’s profits in a series of accounting tricks and self-dealing by Fox which made it look as though the show wasn’t making any money when in fact, the opposite was true.
The lawsuit states that “20th TV has engaged in a systematic and pervasive effort to cheat plaintiffs out of their entitlement to profits from the longest running drama series ever broadcast on (Fox).”
In March 2008, when Bones season 3 was airing, 20th TV reports suggested that the show was $70 million in deficit which would have to be cleared before any profit shares would be received. In January 2009, 20th TV issued another report which stated that this deficit had increased to $80 million, and then, later on, this figure was increased to nearly or in excess of $100 million, depending on each plaintiff’s individual story.
During this time, the plaintiffs (Deschanel, Boreanaz and Reichs) were unable to work out why the show kept being renewed and heralded as Fox’s ‘golden child’ if it was in so much debt, so the trio, along with others, exercised their right to ask for an audit.
The auditors uncovered more than 20 accounting violations leading to over $100 million in unreported receipts as well as many more overcharged expenses.
“In addition to uncovering improper self-dealing and misallocation claims, the auditor’s review, albeit truncated by 20th TV’s withholding of many key documents, unearthed more than a dozen accounting errors, tricks and deceitful acts that 20th TV has used to deprive plaintiffs of their entitlement to profits,” the report says.
While Fox TV has not issues any comment yet, the lawsuit is demanding a jury trial and, unsurprisingly, is seeking real punitive damages.
Via NY Daily News