Bones co-stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz have landed a massive payday after winning more than $179 million in their lawsuit over profits from the hit show.
The actors, who featured on the comedy/drama series for 12 seasons until it ended in 2017, sued production officials at 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Broadcasting back in November, 2015, alleging that they, along with fellow plaintiff, writer/executive producer Kathleen Reichs, had not received a cut of profits from the distribution of the long-running show for years.
In legal papers filed in a Los Angeles court at the time, the stars explained they had hired an auditor to determine roughly how much they had missed out on, with the financial consultant estimating they had been "cheated out of more than $100 million in gross revenues", while being "overcharged many additional millions of dollars in alleged expenses".
They sued for breach of contract, fraudulent concealment, and intentional interference with contract, and sought damages and a jury trial, just a week after another executive producer, Barry Josephson, filed a similar complaint about accounting.
The cases appear to have been combined and ended up going to arbitration, but Peter Lichtman, the private official overseeing the dispute, recently found in the plaintiffs' favor, accusing Fox executives of purposefully lying about finances and defrauding the stars out of profits.
The figure awarded to the foursome includes $128 million in punitive damages, and is now the second-largest payout in TV industry history, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Only Disney bosses have been forced to pay out more - $319 million back in 2011 following a dispute over profits for hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Celebrating the news as it was made public on Wednesday (27Feb19), Emily released a statement which reads: "We are so proud of the hard work we did on Bones for 12 seasons and only ever wanted Fox to live up to its promises and contractual obligations."
"It's clear that what we were saying all along was true: we were owed additional compensation for our work," adds David. "Now I can only hope that Fox is made to settle its obligations to us without further delay."
However, the group may have to wait to receive payment as attorneys for Fox have already filed a motion challenging the decision.
"The ruling by this private arbitrator is categorically wrong on the merits and exceeded his arbitration powers," a network representative states to TMZ. "Fox will not allow this flagrant injustice, riddled with errors and gratuitous character attacks, to stand and will vigorously challenge the ruling in a court of law."