Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ABC Accused Of Cheating GENERAL HOSPITAL Creators

The daughters and heirs of Frank and Doris Hursley, the husband-and-wife writing team who created GENERAL HOSPITAL, say ABC owes them an accounting and years of royalties from the show.

Bridget Dobson (SANTA BARBARA creator), Deborah Hardy, and Polly Keusnik say ABC used Hollywood accounting to cheat them of their parents' 10 percent share of the show's net profits. They say they recently discovered the number juggling during an audit, and say ABC also "wrongfully refused" to disclose more information that will show other contractual breaches.

The plaintiffs describe themselves as "the daughters and heirs" of the Hursleys, "who became famous in the 1950s for writing soap operates."

"In 1963, the Hursleys created the medical soap opera GENERAL HOSPITAL, for ABC. From 1963 to 1973, the Hursleys served as the head writers of GENERAL HOSPITAL and their daughters, Bridget Dobson and Deborah Hardy, also both served as writers on the show. 'General Hospital' is widely considered the most popular soap opera of all time. It is now the longest-running soap opera on television," according to the complaint in Superior Court. [EDITOR'S NOTE: It is the longest running soap on American television.]

The Hursleys formed the corporation Frandor (named for Frank and Doris), which provided scripts to ABC. Frandor dissolved in 1975 and assigned all its rights and titles to the Hursleys, who passed it on to their daughters and heirs.

Frandor and the Hursleys were "'granted 10 percent of 100 percent of the net profits from domestic syndication of all programs of the ABS series and the same profit percentage with respect to foreign syndication of all shows produced and telecast by ABC after Jan. 3, 1969," according to the complaint. They also got 10 percent share of ancillary rights, from merchandising, movie rights, and so on.

The plaintiffs say they repeatedly sought books and records for an audit, but ABC refused until late 2010. They say that from the few years of records ABC did produce, the auditors discovered "that ABC had breached the Agreement through various improper and incorrect accounting methods," which - what do you know? - "resulted in plaintiffs receiving less that what they are owed pursuant to the Agreement."

They seek full accounting and damages, plus interest, for breach of contract, breach of faith. They are represented by Jeremiah Reynolds, with Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, of Santa Monica.

1 comment:

  1. There is only one solution to this. ABC should settle, offer Bridget and Deborah Hardy headwritership of General Hospital and offer Bridget a development deal to create a 21st century version of Santa Barbara to air at 2 PM EDT starting in 2012 when OLTL goes off the air.

    Just think of all the fun picking up with the zany resident’s of Santa Barbara for some 21st Century “Love and Dysfunction in the Afternoon”.

    • Susan Lucci as an Italian vineyard/fashion heiress Carlotta Armonti. Her sexy fashion centric daughter played by Robin Christopher team up with her attorney Mason Capwell. They are fighting against the Capwell’s and Carlotta’s step mother Sophia Capwell. The Capwell’s are attempting to activate Santa Barbara’s “eminent domain” laws to expropriate Carlotta Armonti’s real estate for Capwell development and alternative energy windmills to catch the same Santa Ana winds that killed Mason’s love Mary Duval.
    • Lindsay Lohan as Lindsay Lane – the “hot mess” celebutante reality star daughter of Victoria “Tori” Lane played by Kristen Meadows.
    • Eden (Marcy Walker who is now a fundamentalist Christian in real life) struggles to hold onto her god fearing marriage to Pastor Michael Donnelly (Frank Runyeon) together as she is torn for her feelings for her soul mate Cruz and the past they shared together.
    • C.C. is an invalid and circa 1985 – Mrs. Gina Capwell (Robin Mattson) is petitioning the courts and taking on all the Capwells to enforce a fraudulent living will to terminate C.C. before he can awake to disinherit her once and for all and dissolve their “marriage of convenience”.
    • A neutrotic 21st Century Santana manages the Capwell’s properties after Rosa died in order to be close to Brandon and her teenage grandchildren that don’t know she is their mother/grandmother.
    • Brenda Dickson as Lionel Lockridge’s trashy gold digging wife who like many in LA has an obsession with beauty enhancements all the while having a nightly rendezvous with Mason at the Lockridge pool at Midnight – unaware that Julia and Augusta are observing them each night with a picnic midnight snack.
    • Genie Francis taking on the role that was created for her – Kelly Capwell.
    • And let’s throw in Denise Alexander, Jonelle Allen (the original desperate housewife – Doreen Jackson) and Sherilyn Wolter lurking and plotting in the background as Elena Capwell.