Friday, August 24, 2007

Comedy writer sues over 'Hannah Montana'

A comedy writer named Buddy Sheffield is suing The Walt Disney Co., alleging he came up with the idea for the teen television show "Hannah Montana" but was never compensated.

Sheffield, who has written for "The Smothers Brothers Show," "The Dolly Parton Show" and "In Living Color," says he pitched an idea for a television series called "Rock and Roland" to the Disney Channel in 2001. The story was about a junior high school student who lived a secret double life as a rock star, according to the lawsuit.

Disney Channel officials at first liked the idea, but ultimately passed on it, the lawsuit alleges.

The Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" is about high school student Miley Stewart, who lives a secret double life as a famous pop star.

"Hannah Montana," starring Miley Cyrus and her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, has generated two hit music CDs and helped sell a great deal of merchandise. Sheffield says he deserves a share of the revenue.

Buddy Sheffield filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday alleging breach of contract, breach of confidence, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

Having seen "Hannah Montana," not to mention several other Disney Channel teen-sitcoms, I've been wanting to sue Disney for unjust enrichment, simply on general principle.

I've done a variation of this joke on my Myspace blog before, but here's a quick impression of every director of every sitcom on the Disney Channel: That's great, Carter...terrific stuff, Jawan...Rosalita, terrific work...Rondell, great as always. Now let's take it again everyone, but this time with more mugging. A LOT more mugging."

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