Days of our Lives recently celebrated a renewal for its 55th season, but producers of the long-running soap opera claim it has been an uphill battle to reach that record due to what they feel are Sony TV's "audacious" attempts to hang the soap out to dry.
Earlier this week, Corday Productions brought a breach of contract and fraud complaint against Sony Pictures Television (as well as its Columbia Pictures and Screen Gems divisions) that claims the company has purposefully dropped its international distribution duties in an attempt to starve the NBC soap opera and, in doing so, help The Young and the Restless, which Sony fully owns.
The Corday action, which Deadline reports is represented by Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger's Pierce O'Donnell, Dan Stone, and Joshua Geller, alleges that Sony "treachery" has led to the majority of DAYS' back seasons being left "completely unexploited for over five years."
The 33-page complaint asserts: "While the domestic ratings for Days of Our Lives have remained largely constant, Sony's distribution receipts have decreased by over 50%... This dramatic decline is directly attributable to a decision at the highest levels of Sony management to eliminate any competition to its own wholly-owned Series The Young and The Restless also distributed by Sony."
As such, Corday Productions is seeking damages of over $20 million and wants to significantly take back control of the show.
"In the annals of Hollywood television, it is difficult to identify a distributor more guilty of blatant conflict of interest, deceit, perfidy, and abuse of market power," the filing declares of what it also calls the "audacious" behavior of Sony TV. "The only effective remedies are massive compensatory and punitive damages and immediate termination [of] Sony's exclusive, perpetual distribution agreement."
O'Donnell spoke with Deadline after the complaint was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, stating: "My client will not sit idly by while Sony Pictures Television seeks to destroy its legendary Days of Our Lives. Our complaint exposes Sony's concerted campaign to abandon selling the 54-year-old celebrated television series in foreign markets while it promotes its own daytime drama The Young and The Restless... We can't wait to present this damning evidence to a Los Angeles jury. Everyone loves a good David versus Goliath story."
For more information on Corday Productions' lawsuit against Sony Pictures Television -- which Sony claims is "meritless" -- read Deadline's full article here.
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