Carol Burnett is being sued by a dead producer’s company over a home-video deal involving her shows. The 79-year-old, actress, comedienne, singer and writer was named in the lawsuit by Bob Banner Associates.
Bob Banner himself passed away in 2011, but not before him and Burnett had allegedly reached a deal with Time Life to release, “The Carol Burnett Show,” and spinoff “Mama’s Family,” to home video.
Now the dead man’s production company claims that Burnett has cut them out of the deal, after saying the company helped create the shows.
In 1967, CBS was eager to have Burnett in a series, so they offered her an ultimatum. She could either star in a situation comedy, or she could headline a variety series. Burnett chose the latter option. As a result, the hour-long “Carol Burnett Show,” which debuted in September, 1967, garnered 23 Emmy Awards and won or was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards every season it was on the air.
The Bob Banner production company wants Burnett to release full accounting of all profits earned from the “Carol Burnett Show,” including the home-video deal and wants its fair share of the profits.
In 2007, Burnett sued 20th Century Fox for copyright infringement, trademark violation, invasion of privacy, and misappropriation of name and likeness over the use of an altered version of her signature “Carol Burnett Show” closing song and the portrayal of her cleaning lady “charwoman” character in an episode of Family Guy. A federal judge dismissed the case, that the cartoon was a permissible parody of a public figure.
Burnett has yet to comment on the Bob Banner lawsuit.