General News

Bochco, Fox end "NYPD" lawsuit

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Apr 26, 2001 | 2:19pm EDT

How much is NYPD Blue worth?

More than 20th Century Fox initially paid, according to television producer Steven Bochco.

Bochco and 20th Century Fox settled a 19-month-old legal dispute on Friday, which began when Bochco claimed he was underpaid for reruns of his gritty police drama that air on a Fox-owned cable network, Daily Variety reports.

The dispute was resolved before the start of Monday's Los Angeles Superior Court trial. Details of the agreement have been kept confidential, and it is not known whether Bochco has received a cash settlement. The settlement does allow other cable networks to bid on the series in the fall.

Fox, in a statement issued Friday, said that the dispute "has been amicably resolved to the mutual benefit of both parties."

Bochco and his attorney could not be reached for comment Monday.

A joint statement from Bochco and Fox will be issued later this week, a Fox spokeman said Monday.

Bochco's lawsuit claimed that Fox's distribution rights to Bochco's hit ABC show were far below the show's fair-market value, thus depriving the producer of his rightful share of proceeds from reruns.

FX paid a record-breaking $400,000 per episode when it began airing the reruns in 1995. The studio has claimed that no other cable network would have paid the same amount of money.

Two years later, FX purchased Fox's The X-Files for an estimated $600,000 an episode, to which NYPD Blue lost some of its market.

Bochco claimed that the series' real value was at least $700,000. At 200 episodes, damages, he claims, add up to $60 million, according to Reuters.

Similar cases have been filed before. In August 1999, The X-Files' David Duchovny sued Fox, claiming that the network hurt his profit sharing by selling the show to associated companies at below-market prices.

The lawsuit was settled in terms of a new contract: Duchovny would act in about half of the show's eighth-season episodes, now airing. The actor also settled his lawsuit against Fox's syndication arm, which he claimed sold repeats of the show to Fox-owned stations for bargain basement rates, Variety reported.

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