Rysher Entertainment has paid former “Nash Bridges” star Don Johnson $19 million to settle a contract dispute, The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Feb. 11. Don Johnson filed the lawsuit in 2010, claiming he was entitled to half-ownership of “Nash Bridges” if the show lasted 66 episodes. “Nash Bridges lasted 122 episodes.
Johnson filed the lawsuit in 2010 against Rysher Entertainment, claiming he was owed 50 percent of the show’s money. At trial, Don Johnson’s attorneys “pointed to the profits ‘Nash Bridges’” made from re-runs. Rysher Entertainment is owned by Mark Cuban’s and Todd Wagner’s 2929 Entertainment.
Rysher’s reply was that Johnson’s compensation should be “dictated by contractual provisions on adjusted gross receipts” that Rysher Entertainment received for the “Nash Bridges” series after certain distribution fees and production costs were deducted. Rysher claimed that “Nash Bridges” was actually $40 million in debt.
At the original trial, a jury awarded Don Johnson $23.5 million.The judge then awarded Johnson interest, increasing the amount that Rysher Entertainment owed Johnson to $50 million.
The lawsuit went to the California appellate court and it was determined that the original judge was correct in adding interest to the jury award. The California appellate court reduced the $50 million award to $15 million, finding that both the judge and the jury had “improperly determined prejudgment interest.”
Rather than appeal the lawsuit any further, Don Johnson and Rysher Entertainment reached a settlement that will pay Johnson $19 million. Johnson, who also starred as James “Sonny” Crocket on the ABC hit series “Miami Vice,” has signed “an acknowledgement of satisfaction” and the “Nash Bridges” case has been closed.
“Nash Bridges” ran from 1996 until 2001, and starred Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Yasmine Bleeth, Kelly Hu, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, James Gammon, Jeff Perry, Annette O’Toole, Cary-Hiro Tagawa and Wendy Moniz.
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