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April 24, 2014

'Happy Days' Actors Sue CBS Over Merchandising Revenues

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 19th 2011 1:15PM
Marion Ross, Erin Moran, Happy DaysThe cast of 'Happy Days' isn't too, well, happy, with CBS.

Anson Williams, Don Most, Marion Ross, Erin Moran and the estate of the late Tom Bosley are suing CBS over merchandising revenues. According to CNN, the actors claim CBS has cut them out of money they are owed for products such as T-shirts, comic books, dolls and DVDs.

The cast is suing for $10 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Henry Winkler and Ron Howard are not part of the suit.

The actors say that under their contracts, they were supposed to be paid 5 percent of the net proceeds if their sole image appeared on the product and 2.5 percent if their image appeared in a group.

Jon Pfeiffer, the attorney for the 'Happy Days' actors, said he expects to file a lawsuit against CBS today.

"The issue is the five cast members of 'Happy Days' were not paid for the royalties for their name and likeness," Pfeiffer told CNN. "That being the use of their picture, use of their name in slot machines, in games, in greeting cards, in T-shirts -- anything where you saw a 'Happy Days' face of a character, they were not paid for that."

CBS told the actors that they are owed between $8,500 and $9,000 for the last four years, most of the revenue coming from 'Happy Days' slot machines that bear their likenesses. However, the actors claim they are owed millions of dollars.


More 'Happy Days' products are being prepped to launch, including a lottery game.

According to Pfeiffer, attempts at mediation between his clients and CBS have failed.

"We agree that funds are owed to the actors," CBS told CNN via an emailed statement, "and have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue."

'Happy Days' debuted in 1974 and lasted for 11 seasons, airing 255 episodes before its 1984 finale. The show was responsible for three spinoffs, 'Laverne & Shirley,' 'Mork & Mindy' and 'Joanie Loves Chachi.'

The series has left a lasting impression on pop culture many thanks to Henry Winkler's character, the Fonz. Besides his iconic leather jacket, the Fonz gave the world the term "jumping the shark."

Check out this video of the cast reminiscing during the 30th anniversary special.



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jws8404

Why are they suing CBS, the show was on ABC in the 70's...................

April 24 2011 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DaViD BEAR !

I sincerely hope the cast of HAPPY DAYS wins their lawsuit against CBS. Another TYPICAL major U.S. corporation taking advantage of American citizens. American citizens who have given their all to create a wonderful television series; only to have what they earned taken away - or in THIS case, NEVER GIVEN TO THEM! CBS refers to itself as "The Tiffany Network". In CBS's case, "tiffany" is defined as self-righteous, greedy, arrogant, self-serving, right-wing broadcast corporation. CBS = Contemptuous Broadcasting Serpents!

April 24 2011 at 5:45 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
MEQUA'S TRAY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRVSesYTIa0

April 24 2011 at 2:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mbrul

what's even scarier is that pic!

April 22 2011 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
madddddddddddddd

CBS??? WHAT IS WRONG WITH CBS???
THEY HAVE GOOD SHOWS,, AND THEN CHEAT PEOPLE???

HOW CAN U TRUST THEIR NEWS?????????? THEY SUCK......................

April 22 2011 at 3:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
sunsetcho

Happy Days was responsible for four spinoffs, not three. The fourth was "Out of the Blue". AOL needs a new fact checker.

April 22 2011 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sunsetcho's comment
Steven

It also had the spin off called Mork and Mindy. Otherwise we would have never heard of Robin Williams.

April 24 2011 at 9:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ljmcgarry

Ok. let me get this right, the actors are suing for "their" work, that they allll earned, reading through this post I only see a few people bad mouth "Happy Days' which means that all of us have enjoyed the show at one time or another, I suggest those who watched the show and support the laughs we had all buy something with Happy Days on it,, even if its just a couple of bucks, that would piss cbs off,,, lol

April 22 2011 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HLS

I THOUGHT THE SHOW WAS ON ABC. I REMEMBER IT BEING ON EVERY TUESDAY AT 8:00 pm.

April 22 2011 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
knightie2008

Many of the television programming that we see are shown on one network but owned and produced by another. Medium was on NBC but CBS did the producing. When NBC cancelled Medium it went to CBS. It doesn't surprise me at all that CBS owns the distribution rights to Happy Days.

April 21 2011 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura

Erin Moran never amounted to anything and looks like crap!

April 21 2011 at 7:05 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Laura's comment
nick

Hey Laura.....what's your big accomplishments...and lets see a photo of you!

April 22 2011 at 9:52 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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