NBC is suing Dick Wolf -- creator and producer of the "Law & Order" group of shows -- asking a court to interpret a contract provision that gives him executive producer fees if and when any of
the three series in the enduring franchise get canceled. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks declaratory relief or a change in the deal, but no money damages yet.
According to the complaint, a 2004 agreement between the two parties had a 48-episode guarantee, which NBC claim is a "pay or play deal" that gives Wolf one additional year of fees for shows not
actually produced after a last one-season order. And, if the last order by NBC is a two-season order, it would not have to pony up for episodes not produced.
Last year, though, Wolf told NBC of his different interpretation of the pact and sought a "kill fee," under which he is entitled to a two-year severance package once a "Law & Order" bites the dust. NBC claims that would give him an unintended windfall of millions. But, a spokesman for Wolf says the network is simply "trying to rewrite an existing contract."