Friday, April 22, 2011
On March 8, 2011, Patricia Caruso filed this complaint against former prosecutor and television personality Nancy Grace, alleging a $15 million breach of contract. The two met back in 2002, when both were working for CourtTV. They became colleagues and friends. Caruso claims that she advised Grace when Grace's contract with CNN was up for renewal. She claims that she persuaded Grace to insist on a "carve-out" to permit her to create a syndicated vehicle for her talents, while continuing her gig with CNN.
Caruso alleges that Grace breached a contract to develop a syndicated television series, which Grace would host and Caruso would produce. Caruso claims that she worked tirelessly to market, develop and sell the show, which she wanted to call Grace's Cases. Grace allegedly provided near-constant assurances that she would not proceed with any such show without "patty in place," Here is a video of their most recent interaction which illustrates the importance of having your patty in the right place:
According to the complaint, Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, which is a version of the show that Caruso helped develop, premiered in Fall 2010 without Caruso and has been a huge success. Although Grace was allegedly assuring Caruso that she would be one of the show's executive producers as late as January 2010, in February, CBS offered her a one-year position as “Executive, Talent and Audience Relations," with the possibility for a renewal and a salary of $100,000.
The complaint provides interesting details about the industry. For example:
Were she an executive producer of Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, Caruso would reasonably expect to be compensated consistent with industry standards, namely with a fee in the range of ten percent (10%) of the show budget per week and “back end” compensation in the
16 range of ten percent (10%) of the modified adjusted gross revenue (MAGR) for the life of a television series.
The complaint also provides a little glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous: restaurants are the site for many of the dramatic scenes recounted in the complaint.