LOS ANGELES, July 6 (Reuters) - The CBS television network
and several cast members of 1970s hit comedy "Happy Days"
reached a settlement in their dispute over royalty payments from
sales of merchandise from the show, both parties said on Friday.
The agreement requires CBS Corp, which owns the show, and
Paramount Pictures, which produced it, to pay an undisclosed
amount to the cast members involved. Financial details were
"We have settled our lawsuit with CBS and Paramount. The
terms of the settlement are confidential, but we are satisfied
with the outcome," Jon Pfeiffer, attorney for the actors, told
Reuters. "We will continue to receive all of the merchandising
royalties promised to us in our contracts."
Pfeiffer confirmed CBS sent the actors checks for $10,000
each for merchandising payments since the suit was filed.
CBS released a statement saying "all contractual obligations
will be honored, as we had promised from the beginning."
Actors Anson Williams, Marion Ross, Don Most, Erin Moran and
the widow of performer Tom Bosley claimed they were owed $10 million in lost royalties from worldwide sales of "Happy Days"
merchandise using their images, including comic books, T-shirts,
board games, lunch boxes and drinking glasses.
"Happy Days," which told of a middle-income family in the
1950s, was among the biggest hits on TV during the 1970s. It
starred Ron Howard as the teenage son, Richie, and Henry Winkler
is motorcycle-riding The Fonz. Howard and Winkler, the show's
two main characters, did not participate in the suit.
Filed in April 2011, the lawsuit was initially challenged by
CBS, and in October 2011 California Judge Elizabeth Allen White
dismissed broad claims for fraud and punitive damages, reducing
the amount sought. But the judge allowed the case to proceed,
which ultimately led to Friday's settlement.
The case was also notable because it could have set a costly
precedent for actors' compensation. The actors already had been
paid royalties based on product sales, and they were seeking
more money for the use of their images to market the products.
If they had won, other celebrities might also seek two
streams of royalty payments - one for merchandise and a second
(Reporting by Courtney Garcia)
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