It’s nothing new in Hollywood. Talent oftentimes feels cheated by producers and studios, and this one means war. The litigation over Bones profits is getting some star power. Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, stars of the longest-running drama series in Fox history, along with author and executive producer Kathy Reichs, have filed their own lawsuit claiming they have been shortchanged “tens of millions of dollars” in profits by producer 20th Century Fox Television, the Fox network and affiliated companies. The trio’s lawsuit claims they saw zero profits for years despite the success of the show. The suit follows a similar case filed Nov. 25 by Barry Josephson, one of the show’s executive producers, who also cried foul over Fox’s accounting for the series.
In the new complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by THR, reports the trio claim Fox has underpaid them through accounting tricks and “vertical integration,” in which a company’s production division licenses a show at an artificially discounted rate to the company’s affiliated distribution channel. They also claim Fox fraudulently accounted for revenue, employed strong-arm tactics to lower license fees to the point that the series never showed a profit, and withheld key documents that would help them better ascertain the extent to which they are owed money.
The complaint notes Fox’s “leading role in the well-documented history of Hollywood accounting scandals,” referencing past lawsuits over M*A*S*H*, The X-Files, NYPD Blue and Cops. A Fox spokesperson declined to comment on the new suit.