William Morris: The Common Enemy

A courtroom battle between Disney and the creators of TV game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” was expected to be going to jury at press time – but both sides appeared to be blaming William Morris Agency for the disagreement.

Not to say that WMA (now William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) is the actual villain. According to The Wrap, neither side has landed any punches so, in the Hollywood insider magazine’s opinion, they’re both pointing at William Morris as a provocateur, even though the agency is not on trial.

Celador, the creators of the hit TV show, first found success with “Millionaire” in the U.K.

When the company brought the franchise to the U.S., it hired William Morris to negotiate a deal with ABC Television, which is owned by Disney. But William Morris had another customer – Disney. Hence, WMA was accused of “double dipping” and in the end ran away with millions of dollars after negotiations were finished.

WMA former agent Greg Lipstone, now a VP at ICM, was called to the stand as a witness for the plaintiffs and for the defense. For his June 23 appearance for the latter, he responded to most of Disney attorney Marty Katz’s questions with “I don’t recall,” according to The Wrap.

The appearance was obviously ineffective. The judge has set a June 29 deadline for final arguments.