By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – “The Wonder Years” might not be turning out so wonderfully at all. At least for one former executive overseeing the show.
Ed Gradinger, former president of New World Pictures’ television group, has slapped 20th Century Fox Film Corp. with a breach of contract lawsuit for allegedly stiffing him on bonuses he’s owed from “The Wonder Years,” which ran on ABC from 1998 to 1993 and has remained a staple in repeat-land ever since.
According to Gradinger, under an amended agreement he’d reached with Fox after it had purchased New World, he’s entitled to “bonus payments” for syndicated and “non-standard” (i.e., cable) airings of series that ran at least 66 episodes during his employment. And while, the suit alleges, Fox made no bones about giving Gradinger his due while the show was sold for a variety of runs on cable outlets such as Nickelodeon, ION and ABC Family, when it came to its most recent cable run, with cable outlet the Hub, they suddenly changed their tune.
“On or about March 17, 2011, over ten years after Fox had conceded that Mr. Gradinger was entitled to bonus payments for ‘The Wonder Years’ on both syndicated and non-standard television runs, Fox has refused to pay Mr. Gradinger pursuant to the terms of the Amended Agreement,” the suit claims.
Gradinger’s complaint, which alleges breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, is seeking “compensatory damages according to proof at trial,” along with court costs and attorney’s fees.
Fox did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.