Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra’s maiden American TV series “Quantico” is involved in a lawsuit filed against producer Mark Gordon amid claims that the idea for the ABC FBI drama was lifted from a 1999 documentary that aired on CNN.
Filmmakers Jamie Hellman, Barbara Leibovitz Hellman and business executive Paula Paizes, filed a 35 page complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court, which states that Gordon took the show’s premise from their documentary “Quantico: The Making Of An FBI Agent”, reported Deadline. The complaint says Paizes and Gordon formed a business relationship in 2001 and she introduced him to the filmmakers.
In May 2002, Leibovitz and Hellman signed a deal with the Mark Gordon Company and “provided MGC with the film from the Documentary, information which was not included in the documentary, including all of their notes and transcripts related to the film.”
The suit says the “Quantico Project” initially was discussed as a movie, with a storyline that “included a conspiracy inside the FBI Academy.”
After Hellman and Leibovitz executed a three-month extension on their option with MGC, Gordon — who was working on another project — said in an February 2003 email to Paizes that he “would be happy to discuss this when I get back. It’s a good idea.”
But according to the lawsuit, “neither Gordon nor MGC made any further efforts to work with Plaintiffs to develop the ‘Quantico Project.'” Alleging breach of contract, fiduciary duty and more, the filing seeks a jury trial, actual and punitive damages and a “based on” credit for Hellman and Leibovitz and their documentary. The Mark Gordon Company had no comment on the suit.
“Quantico” is one of the success stories of the fall broadcast season.
The ABC drama centered on a class of FBI recruits, one of whom is a sleeper terrorist, has held ratings week over week and is Sunday’s top broadcast program among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic.
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