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NBC countersues Will & Grace creators

March 5, 2004

Scene from the new season on SABC3 this month
LOS ANGELES — NBC filed suit against the creators of Will & Grace in an ongoing dispute over how negotiations for the TV comedy's renewal were conducted in 2002.

The network filed a countersuit against David Kohan and Max Mutchnick on Wednesday, claiming the pair failed to lead contract talks as agreed.

In their December lawsuit, Kohan and Mutchnick said the network and NBC Studios breached contracts and acted in bad faith.

The men accused the two companies of failing to shop the show to the highest bidder, colluding instead to keep profits within the NBC family. General Electric owns both companies.

In its counterclaim, NBC alleged the pair were expected to lead negotiations between NBC and NBC Studios, which produces Will & Grace, as an independent third party.

The intent was to avoid the appearance of a sweetheart agreement between the network and its studio subsidiary.

An employee at Kohan and Mutchnick's office said Thursday that they had no immediate statement.

Will & Grace, about a New York City interior designer and her best friend, a gay lawyer, has won 12 Emmys since its creation in 1998. –Sapa-AP

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