- Associated Press - Thursday, July 8, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A jury has awarded Don Johnson $23.2 million in profits from the TV series “Nash Bridges” and issued rulings that may mean even more money for the actor.

The jury award came after a two-week trial during which Johnson claimed he was owed millions in profits from the show, which aired for six seasons on CBS.

Johnson attended the entire trial and personally thanked jurors after the verdict was read Wednesday.

He sued three entertainment companies _ Rysher Entertainment, 2929 Entertainment and Qualia Capital _ in February 2009.

“We’re disappointed in the verdict and we’ll appeal,” said Rysher’s attorney, Bart H. Williams. “We respect the jury’s decision and we think there are a lot of pretty significant appellate issues.”

Qualia Capital had no immediate comment on the verdict.

An attorney for 2929 Entertainment, which was founded by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Rysher Entertainment contended during the trial that the show lost money overall and that was why Johnson hadn’t been paid. Much of the show was shot in San Francisco, which contributed to high costs, the company claimed.

Jurors confirmed that Johnson’s contract for “Nash Bridges” included a provision that made him a 50 percent owner in the show’s copyright. That determination could mean more money for the 60-year-old actor in the coming years.

“It was my idea, and I owned the rights in the first place,” Johnson said in a statement. “From the beginning, I have asked only that Rysher honor our contract, and I am so pleased that the jury agreed with me.”

The attorney who crafted Johnson’s agreement for “Nash Bridges” testified that the copyright ownership stake was a one-of-a-kind deal in Hollywood.

Attorney Mark Holscher, who represented Johnson, said the case about more than just money for the actor, who rose to fame on the TV series “Miami Vice.”

“Not just on a financial level, but on a personal level, it was vindication that he was getting credit for his ideas,” Holscher said.

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