'The Walking Dead' Creator Sues AMC

The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont has sued AMC network, claiming that the basic network has cheated him out of “tens of millions of dollars of profit” from the successful and popular show.

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 17 in New York State Supreme Court, alleges that AMC kept the licensing fee for the zombie-themed series artificially low so as to limit any financial returns to Darabont, who launched the series on AMC in 2010 but was dropped by AMC at the beginning of the second season. The series, now in its fourth season, is the most watched scripted series on cable and has drawn more 18-49 viewers than any show in cable history.

The Walking Dead ended the first half of its fourth season earlier this month averaging 13 million total viewers and 8.4 million adults 18 to 49, making it the top TV show, broadcast and cable, in the demo.

 The lawsuit alleges that AMC -- which serves as both producing studio and network distributor of the series -- engaged in the “self-dealing” practice by "minimizing the revenues that go into the 'pool' of funds for the show’s profit participants.”

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R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.