- - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

‘Happy Days’ cast sues over merchandising

Members of the “Happy Days” cast sued CBS Corp. on Tuesday, alleging they’re not getting a cut of the money made in sales of DVDs, lunch boxes, board games and other merchandise related to the television show, the Associated Press reports.

The plaintiffs named in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court include Anson Williams, Marion Ross, Don Most, Erin Moran and Patricia Bosley, widow of Tom Bosley, who died last year. Two prominent members of the 1974-1984 sitcom, Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, are not party to the lawsuit.

The suit alleged that CBS cheated the plaintiffs out of more than $10 million in revenue from the sale of products featuring their images, including gambling machines, T-shirts, board games, greeting cards and drinking glasses.

The actors claimed their contracts with the show’s producer, Paramount Television, which has been folded into CBS, guaranteed 5 percent of net proceeds from merchandise that uses their name, voice or likeness. However, they said CBS has not shown them revenue reports and even told Miss Moran that no money was owed to her.

“Despite this ongoing obligation, defendants adopted a ‘don’t ask, don’t pay’ policy,” the suit said. “If you don’t ask, then we don’t pay.”

CBS said it intends to honor its obligation.

“We agree that funds are owed to the actors and have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Model Petra Nemcova voted off ‘DWTS’

She was praised as a “golden goddess” on Monday, but now Petra Nemcova is a “Dancing With the Stars” reject.

The model and humanitarian was dismissed from the hit ABC show on Tuesday, but she vowed to continue dancing.

“It’s been a life-changing journey, not just for me, but also so many people got inspired because of the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ show that I started to do dance-a-thons at schools to fundraise for Happy Hearts and change the lives of so many children around the world,” Miss Nemcova said as she learned her “Dancing” fate.

After surviving the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, Miss Nemcova founded the Happy Hearts Fund to improve the lives of children in natural-disaster areas through education.

She and professional partner Dmitry Chaplin danced their way into in a three-way tie for last place. The couple collected 22 points out of 30 for a quickstep routine Monday that earned mixed reviews from the judges, though Bruno Tonioli called the model a goddess with “lines that could rival Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini put together.”

Judges’ scores are combined with viewer votes to determine which celebrity is ousted each week.

Story Continues →