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‘Walking Dead’ Profits Lawsuit Trial Delayed Due to Coronavirus

Long-awaited court battle is now scheduled for the fall

The long-awaited trial over profits between AMC and “Walking Dead” creator Frank Darabont will have to wait a little bit longer. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a New York judge has delayed the opening of the trial from next month until November 2.

CAA and Darabont sued AMC in 2013 over profits from the hit TV show, after Darabont was fired during the show’s second season. They filed a second suit against AMC in 2018. The 2013 suit claims that Darabont was wrongfully fired from the series, and that he is entitled to proceeds from the show. Darabont says that AMC both produces and airs the series, and struck an agreement in which the network would be “selling” the show to itself, leading to “the improper and abusive practice of self-dealing.”

AMC made an attempt last year to get the 2018 lawsuit thrown out, but the judge ruled Monday that both will continue as part of the same case.

“Today’s ruling on the accounting portion of the CAA litigation confirms what all parties have been expecting for many months – this case will be tried in front of a jury and we look forward to that happening later this year,” said AMC’s lawyer Orin Snyder. “We believe the facts are clearly on our side and that a jury will agree that the most sophisticated and experienced deal-makers in the entertainment business should not be able to turn to the courts to renegotiate valid agreements they entered into years ago just because ‘The Walking Dead’ became a bigger hit than anyone anticipated.”

Darabont developed the series that was based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book of the same name, which premiered in 2010. He was fired from the show in the early stages of production on Season 2.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this story.