- Jerry Seinfeld is facing a lawsuit over the origins of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”
- Christian Charles, a producer who directed the pilot, claims in the lawsuit that he, not Seinfeld, is the actual creator of the show.
- Charles says in the lawsuit that he approached Seinfeld in 2002 with the idea for the show and that Seinfeld initially rejected it, TMZ reported.
- Seinfeld argues that Charles sued after learning how much money Seinfeld was making for each episode after Netflix purchased the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The concept for “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” is simple, but a lawsuit has turned the series’ origins into a complicated mess.
Christian Charles, a producer who directed the pilot episode of the web series turned Netflix show, sued Jerry Seinfeld in February, claiming that he, not Seinfeld, is the show’s actual creator. Last week, Seinfeld’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the suit, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
TMZ originally reported the lawsuit, saying Charles claimed that he pitched the show idea to Seinfeld in 2002 and that Seinfeld wasn’t interested at first.
For those who don’t know, the show is exactly what it sounds like: Seinfeld drives around with a fellow comedian in a fancy car, and they get coffee together. Charles says his original title ideas were “’67 Bug” or “Two Stupid Guys in a Stupid Car Driving to a Stupid Town,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Nearly a decade later, Charles’ suit says, Seinfeld approached Charles about the concept again and the two filmed a pilot episode, TMZ reported. The lawsuit alleges that Seinfeld abandoned Charles when Charles tried to assert ownership of the show and that Seinfeld went on to produce the show on his own, TMZ said.
After Netflix acquired the series last year, Forbes estimated that Seinfeld could make $750,000 per episode. A new season drops on the streaming service on Friday.
Charles wants a “created by” credit and financial compensation, TMZ reported.
But according to The Hollywood Reporter, Seinfeld’s new court brief argues that Charles sued after finding out how much Seinfeld was making per episode, that the idea of the show is too broad to justify the lawsuit, and that it is a “textbook case” of being beyond a statute of limitations.
But even with so much drama unfolding, Seinfeld seems more concerned about who’s pursuing the lawsuit. Last week, Seinfeld told The Associated Press that it was “unfortunate when it’s a friend and they decide to go for the money instead.”
He added: “That’s not the nicest moment, but I’m used to it.”