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Television: Producer Sees Red over Studio’s Sale of Blue

2 minute read
Kim Masters/Los Angeles

STEVEN BOCHCO, producer of such hit TV series as NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues, sued Fox late last week, alleging that he has been stiffed out of profits from the sale of NYPD Blue into reruns. Bochco, who will receive more than $80 million from the series, believes there should be more honey in that pot–an additional $15 million at least.

In the suit, filed in L.A. Superior Court, Bochco says Fox sold the series to its fledgling FX cable network for a puny $400,000 per episode. (ER, by way of comparison, was sold into syndication to TNT for $1.2 million a show.) Not only did Fox fail to shop NYPD Blue to other prospective buyers, Bochco alleges, but the studio hid interest from other networks so it could supply its own cable channel on the cheap. This isn’t the first such case brought against a media giant. Disney settled a similar suit from the producers of Home Improvement, and actor DAVID DUCHOVNY has another pending against Fox over the The X-Files. “Steven and I finally have become fed up with this vertical integration and self-dealing,” says Bochco’s attorney, FRANK ROHNER. Fox isn’t talking. “We are unaware of any complaint having been filed and have no further comment,” a spokesman said.

–By Kim Masters/Los Angeles

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