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Writer accuses WB of ageism

Gary Miller, a 54-year-old TV writer, filed a lawsuit against The WB Television Network and
Twentieth Century Fox Television in Los Angeles Superior Court late Wednesday,
alleging that the network fired him from the show Reba for being too old.

Miller, a former staff writer for shows such as Laverne & Shirley
and Bosom Buddies and an executive producer for The Fresh Prince of
Bel Air
, said he was told the network decided to retain "greener writers"
instead of him. "This is just another example of the TV industry's unlawful bias
in favor of writers under the age of 40," said Steve Sprenger, one of Miller's
attorneys and a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Sprenger & Lang.
"This policy is unfortunately not new to The WB or Twentieth Century Fox."

According to Miller's complaint, writers over the age of 50 comprise only
3 percent of writing staff on The WB's prime time shows, even though 33
percent of the Writers Guild's membership is older than 50. The complaint
alleged that there is a similarly low percentage of older writers at Twentieth
Century Fox.

A spokesman for The WB said the network does not comment on pending
litigation. He also said none of The WB's attorneys had seen the filing.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.