‘Walking Dead’ Trial: Robert Kirkman’s Profits Battle With AMC Enters The Legal Octagon – Deadline

The Walking Dead
AMC; Shutterstock When the zombie apocalypse does come, downtown Los Angeles may or may not be an epicenter of societal breakdown. But it sure felt like it today as the first of several The Walking Dead profit-participation trials that kicked off in the City of Angels. “If AMC Networks paid 100% of the production of The Walking Dead, you would agree that they made the show, ” AMC’s lead attorney Orin Snyder asked opening witness Ken Ziffren on Monday in TWD creator Robert Kirkman’s so-called mini-trial to resolve contract interpretations with the cabler arising out of a potentially multimillion-dollar case filed in August 2017. “No, ” replied the notoriously circumspect Hollywood legal mandarin. “They were inexperienced and they didn’t follow industry practice at the time, ” Ziffren stated to the court regarding fair market value standards, transferred rights, and other fees and costs AMC, accused of self-dealing, embedded in the CAA-represented Kirkman’s deal more than a decade ago. “The AMC side of it botched it, ” the Ziffren Brittenham LLP co-founder bluntly opined of the former home of Mad Men. “None of the plaintiffs were given any sort of guidance whatsoever of ....

Along with that crew of creatives, there were AMC executives, PR representatives and a praetorian guard of lawyers on both sides from Bird Marella and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in what could be the opening round in a true industry table-turner over who really gets what out of Hollywood accounting. In addition to Ziffren, Kirkman, Hurd and Alpert, ex-AMC Business Affairs SVP and current Blumhouse TV exec Marci Wiseman and former AMC president and current Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier are all expected to testify during the non-jury trial over the next two weeks. Once the contract conflicts between AMC and Kirkman are resolved or at least defined, the EPs’ breach of contract case, which includes ex-TWD showrunner Glenn Mazzara, will progress into the money stage. Defining the terms of that next stage is a big part of the mini-trial that began today and who is getting what, quite literally. “Your firm earns 5% of all entertainment revenue that Ms. Hurd earns, correct?” Snyder probed Ziffren in an attempt to undermine his role on the stand today. “Your firm will receive 5% of any income Ms. .

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