Jerry Seinfeld is on the receiving end of a lawsuit over his series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” with a producer suing the former “Seinfeld” star while alleging that he came up with the idea.
As TMZ reports, producer Christian Charles is taking Seinfeld to court, claiming he pitched a similar idea to Seinfeld way back in 2002; Seinfeld reportedly turned him down at the time, insisting he wasn’t interested in doing a show.
Fast-forward to 2011, when Charles alleges that Seinfeld called him to ask about the details of the show he pitched. Seinfeld, Charles alleges, enlisted him to direct a pilot (Charles is credited with directing the episode on IMDB.com).
However, Charles’ suit alleges that when he insisted on ownership interest in the show — and the commensurate paycheque — Seinfeld balked, severing ties with Charles and going on to produce the show on his own.
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” was an instant hit when it debuted in 2012 on the Crackle streaming service, moving to Netflix in 2017 as part of Seinfeld’s $100-million deal with Netflix — and Charles is demanding what he alleges is his share of the pie.
According to the lawsuit, Charles claims that Seinfeld earns $750,000 per episode of “Cars”, and he’s seeking a “created by” credit and financial compensation.
Charles and Seinfeld had worked together previously; Charles co-created, co-wrote and developed the successful 2004 American Express campaign featuring Seinfeld, and also directed live-action movie trailers for Seinfeld’s 2007 animated comedy “Bee Movie”.