Los Angeles: Two of the producers of 'The Real Housewives of Orange County' have filed a lawsuit worth USD 5 million against the show's creator and network for excluding them from the series' profits.
Patrick Moses and Kevin Kaufman have alleged Scott Dunlop, developed and sold the series with them, then conspired with the show's network, Bravo, to remove them from its production and take it over for himself, said The Hollywood Reporter.
Moses and Kaufman said it was they who had the idea for a reality TV program based on a gated community in Orange County, California.
Kaufman was apparently a personal friend of Dunlop's, and when he visited the gated Orange County neighbourhood of Coto de Caza where Dunlop lived, Dunlop had already started thinking about the neighbourhood's entertainment potential.
His idea was 'a satirical community-theatre type program', however, and Kaufman and Moses, a TV producer who worked with Kaufman's company Kaufman Films, had the idea of a reality show, the complaint states.
They formed a production agreement that stipulated they split 'all fees, profits and revenues equally... On a 1/3 basis', Kaufman and Moses complained.
In 2005, they sold the show to Bravo and set up a production company, Ventana, and in 2006 'The Real Housewives of Orange County' premiered. It was shortly afterward that Dunlop's efforts to exclude his partners began, they claimed.
Bravo and representatives for Dunlop were not available for comment.