Judge: “Steel Magnolias” can air as planned

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

In our last post, we talked about how a producer of the 1989 film version of “Steel Magnolias” had tried to stop Lifetime from airing its TV version of the same story.

But, as any Miami resident who subscribes to Lifetime might already know, “Steel Magnolias” went on the air as planned. So what happened?

In short, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge denied the producer’s motion for a temporary restraining order.
Now, all that means is the judge did not think it was necessary to prevent the film adaptation from airing. It doesn’t mean a final verdict was reached on the producer’s underlying claims.

To recap, the producer had sued Lifetime, A&E Networks and Sony Television over the TV adaptation, which stars an all-black cast including Phylicia Rashad and Queen Latifah. The producer claims that when Sony bought her production studio a few years ago, hence acquiring the rights to “Steel Magnolias,” it also acquired the obligation to offer her participation in any future adaptation. The defendants, of course, disagree.

We often work with entertainers to resolve matters that are along these lines. In any field of work, experience matters — it’s the best teacher, after all, and increases familiarity and fluency in relevant issues.

If learning more about what we do interests you, you always have the option of visiting our Entertainment Law website. We’ve designed it with an eye towards offering relevant information, so we hope it can be a resource to you.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias Reboot Won’t Be Stopped by Judge,” Eriq Gardner, Oct. 5, 2012