LOS ANGELES (CNS) – CBS and the creator of ”NCIS” have settled his lawsuit alleging he was denied profits from the subsequent series “NCIS:LA.,” the network’s attorney confirmed today.
Donald Bellisario, who also created ”JAG” and “Magnum P.I.” for CBS, sued the network in Los Angeles Superior Court in April 2011. The complaint maintained that under three separate deals Bellisario signed with the network, he was entitled to receive millions of dollars in profits from the spinoff show.
A final status conference and a motions hearing were scheduled today, but CBS attorney Scott Edelman said the case was resolved. No terms were divulged.
Bellisario’s lawyer, Ronald Nessim, could not be immediately reached. Nessim maintained in prior court hearings that through “JAG” Bellisario created a “fictional universe” that later gave rise to “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
Nessim’s court papers stated that the character of Abby, first introduced by Bellisario in the “Ice Queen” and “Meltdown” episodes of “JAG,” became a central character in “NCIS.” Abby later appeared in two of the first nine episodes of “NCIS: Los Angeles” according to Nessim’s court papers.
Nessim said shows are often spun off from each other through common themes and elements and not just through the actors. He cited “Star Trek,” “All in the Family” and “Survivor” as examples.
In a sworn statement, CBS Television Studios President David Staph said Bellisario was not involved in the creation, production or development of “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Staph also said he never considered the show to be a spinoff of “JAG.”
Edelman said during a previous court hearing that if Nessim’s theory was taken to its extreme, “Survivor” would be considered a spinoff of “Gilligan’s Island.”
Bellisario was fired from CBS in 2007after a dispute with executives.
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