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September 16, 2014

Jack Klugman sues NBC over Quincy profits

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 29th 2008 9:41AM
Jack KlugmanThis is a very odd story, and not because it involves one-half of TV's most enjoyable sitcoms ever, The Odd Couple, but it's not about that show. It's about his other successful series. Jack Klugman has filed suit against NBC Universal over profits from Quincy, M.E. The oddity is that the show hasn't been in production for 25 years and this hasn't come up till now!

Quincy was the original medical examiner/mystery show, the precursor of all the forensic procedurals that are so popular today. Before there was CSI, or CSI: Miami or CSI: New York, there was Quincy.

Jack Klugman, who is now 85 years old, starred as the crime-solving M.E., on NBC from 1976 to 1983. Using scientific observation of the body and elements from the scene of the crime, Quincy would crack the case.

According to Klugman's 1976 contract with NBC, he and his production company, Sweater Productions, should have received 25 percent of the show's "net profits." Klugman, whose lawyers claimed that his copy of the contract was lost when his agent died, wants to see a copy of that original contract now -- but NBC has refused to comply.

The lawsuit filed in Superior Court is Klugman's attempt to force NBC to show him the contract, award him attorneys' fees, and deliver to him whatever monies are owed. "I recently heard that they made $250 million and it's still on TV in Germany. I don't want their money. I want my money," Mr. Klugman told the Associated Press. "I worked my tail off. I got up at four in the morning and stayed at the studio. I did rewrites, I edited." And he acted. Very well.

So far, no word in response from NBC Universal regarding the lawsuit. However, Klugman's suit reveals that they sent him an accounting statement in which they claim a $66 million loss through 2006. Klugman contends that NBC is lying, and that the show did, in fact, make money.

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Owen Uridge

Give them their money. NBC is an embarrassment anyway.

BTW, the other actors on that series are all alive

"Sam" is 77 in July
"Lt.Monahan" is 87 next week.
"Dr. Asten" is 78.
"Danny" is 82.



June 01 2008 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mandy

For Jimmy:

"I think the implication is that Klugman is digging for gold, not his wife."

My comment was in response to lucyfan62 saying that Quincy should watch out before "the new wifey ends up a wealthy widow." I may have taken that wrong, but I thought that comment was implying that Peggy Crosby is gold digging. I'm sorry if I got it wrong, and I don't know why my reply ended up under the wrong comment.

March 30 2008 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rebecca

The "Quincy" series has also been seen regularly on TV here in the United Kingdom during 2007-2008, it's still a popular favourite...

March 29 2008 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rebecca's comment
GJD

A recent survey by the NUS indicated that UK university students were more likely to be able to identify the Los Angeles County coroner than the Prime Minister.

March 31 2008 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1iPete

I don't think NBC/Universal will be able to show anything but profits over the last 25 years since it's been out of production.

Give Jack/Quincy his due money or he may send Danny, Lt. Monaghan, Sam, Dr. Astin et. al after them (assuming some of them are still alive).

March 29 2008 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Note to self - if I ever make it big in the entertainment business remember: Gross-Good, Net-Bad, Media Companies-Evil Bastards who are out to screw you.

This news story, combined with the decision on the Siegel family law suit to regain their rights to Superman show that media companies - be they Universal in the 1970s with their creative accounting or the old DC Comics in the 1930s with a contract that bought "Superman" lock stock and cape for $130 - it shows that you really can't be too careful.

March 29 2008 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zachary Pruckowski

Yep, the old "studio accounting" thing. Apparently the Simpsons hasn't turned a profit either, after 19 years and a billion syndications. Also, Lord of the Rings lost millions.

It's really sort of ridiculous (and obviously illegal), but as long as the companies have the money, the lawsuits are rare, and as long as they have the political influence, it'd be hard to get the IRS or DA involved.

March 29 2008 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bash

Quincy was very successful here in Germany in the last ten years. It's still on on third tier carriers (we don't have networks here - 80 million people in a country the size of California means we have the same company distributing their content all over Germany, Switzerland and Austria with a couple of regional half hour shows).

March 29 2008 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bash's comment
Jim

For Mandy: I think the implication is that Klugman is digging for gold, not his wife.

March 30 2008 at 7:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lucyfan62

NBC is marketing the show a lot these days - maybe they thought Klugman was dead and could make a free and clear profit. On the other hand, after 20-some years, his marriage to/separation from Brett Somers came to an end with her death and now he's got a new wife all of a sudden...sounds like someone is digging for gold! Quincy needs to get Jim Rockford and Jessica Fletcher on this case before the new wifey ends up a wealthy widow!

March 29 2008 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lucyfan62's comment
Mandy

"On the other hand, after 20-some years, his marriage to/separation from Brett Somers came to an end with her death and now he's got a new wife all of a sudden...sounds like someone is digging for gold!"

He and Peggy Crosby lived together for 20 years before they got married, so if she's a gold digger she's a pretty darn patient one! However, they may have married after Brett died so that Peggy's interests would be more easily protected.

March 29 2008 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ThoMc

Universal lost in the same scam tried on James Garner when he went after The Rockford Files profits due his production company. I like Klugman's comment that he doesn't want Universal's money, he wants his money. I trust the court will come down hard on Jack Klugman's side. Go Jack!

March 29 2008 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam

I could have sworn he died years ago.

March 29 2008 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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