Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan sued NBC Studios for (this might be a good time for any out-of-work sitcom writers to leave the room) $55 million in 2003, claiming the studio negotiated a substandard licensing fee for the series with its sister network. In a stunning turn of events, the judge tossed the verdict and canned the jury foreperson moments before the verdict was to be read:
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Warren Ettinger was confronted with a mistrial motion filed by NBC's legal team, alleging [jury foreman Dean] Hartwell's misconduct in concealing a "bias" during voir dire.
NBC claims in the motion that it discovered Hartwell's [corporation-critical] Web site, www.deanhartwell.com, the night before the verdict was to be read. The jury had been deliberating since April 16. [...]
The announcement that deliberations would have to begin "anew" was greeted with gasps and sighs by the jurors. A female juror sat with her mouth open, shaking her head.
And the twists keep coming: A surprise settlement was reached today by both parties. Luckily, the writers' new studio, Warner Bros. Television, has no corporate ties to CBS, home of their upcoming autobiographical sitcom, guaranteeing that no conflicts of interest will interfere in netting them top dollar for every hilarious script about writing partners buddies who spend their time unsuccessfully trying to duplicate their success and suing the network who launched them for obnoxious sums of money.