American action hero Chuck Norris has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against CBS and Sony Pictures Televisions for allegedly cheating him out of agreed-upon profits from the hit 1990s series Walker, Texas Ranger.
According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on 30 January by the actor's company Top Kick Productions, CBS is in breach of contract after reneging on an agreement to pay 23% "of the profits earned from any, and all, exploitation of Walker" when it became the primary distributor of the show.
"Instead, CBS and Sony materially breached the contractual duties they owed to Mr Norris and his company Top Kick," the lawsuit alleges.
"Specifically, the defendants have consciously sought to market, sell and distribute Walker in ways that are designed to collect significant fees and revenues from the ongoing exploitation of Walker but without having to honour or pay Top Kick, and to instead materially breach the 23 percent profit clause."
The legal document accuses CBS and Sony of conspiring to promote the series, aired for eight seasons on CBS from 1993-2001, more through on-demand services and less on TV and DVD to avoid paying Norris his share.
Norris claimed that Sony passed up a lucrative licensing offer from Katz Broadcasting so it could grant an exclusive license to its fledgling getTV network.
Walker, Texas Ranger has been broadcast in more than 100 countries and spawned the 2005 made-for-television movie Trial by Fire. Norris said he had not received a penny of his profits from S-VOD since 2004.