July 14, 2008 11:00 AM by Christine McDow
Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind the reality television shows Survivor,The Apprentice, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? anda slew of others is being sued by his former business partner for a hefty $70 million. Woah!
Why you may ask? Well like so many partnerships that start out so strong, when you don’t pay someone what you owe they often come back and bite you in the butt, or the wallet whichever the case may be.
According to Conrad Riggs, Mark Burnett agree’d to pay him 10% of his profits for future shows when Mark started his foray into television and so far Mark Burnett hasn’t stuck by his end of the deal.
Riggs claims that they had an oral agreement to share the profits and that the premise of Survivorwas all his idea and that he assembled the staff for The Apprentice while Mark Burnett was shooting Survivor.
This looks like it is going to be a case of “he said, he said”, and ultimately come down to who can convince the judge they are telling the truth. In the end we hope that Riggs learned a valuable lesson, when you are talking about billions of dollars, it is best to get it in writing.