Mark Burnett, producer of Survivor and The Apprentice, is being sued by former colleague Conrad Riggs for US$70m in a row over unpaid royalties.
Riggs launched the legal action against Mark Burnett Productions, claiming that Burnett reneged on a deal to pay Riggs, through his Cloudbreak Entertainment company, 10% of the company’s profits.
Riggs, a former Disney staffer, was instrumental in Burnett’s early success, helping him with industry contacts in 1997 when he was struggling to sell adventure race series Eco-Challenge.
Burnett is currently looking to sell his eponymous production company, which also produces Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? and My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, and is reported to be in negotiations with IMG. Riggs is claiming that he is due 10% of the profits of any sale.
Meanwhile, Riggs has recently acquired a stake in Lonelygirl15 producer Miles Beckett’s latest online production company Eqal.