From “book ‘em, Danno” to “sue ‘em, Litto.” That is essentially where an original stakeholder in the Hawaii Five-O franchise has progressed, via a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
THR senior editor Eriq Gardner has the details and full PDF complaint. The somewhat delayed timing of talent agent George Litto’s $10 million-plus legal maneuver has a lot to do with the fact that Rose Freeman, the widow of Hawaii Five-O creator Leonard Freeman, passed away in March. This reportedly left Litto as the sole manager of the Freeman estate company at the center of the dispute. Per Gardner:
Litto alleges he was cut out of the [TV series] success and even threatened with litigation if he contacted CBS… Since the series is reportedly a “cash cow” for CBS, he adds had the 1974 deal not been amended, it would have allegedly resulted in “massive profits” of millions of dollars to the company he set up with Rose.
Litto says changes made without his consent to the 1974 deal cut out some crucial 1998 WGA arbitration settlement terms and an even more critical calculations clause. The original Hawaii Five-O TV series ran on CBS from 1968 to 1980.