‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Settles Copyright Lawsuit

AMC has settled the copyright lawsuit surrounding Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead ahead of its fifth season, Deadline reports.

Per an order handed down by Judge Lucy Koh:

“Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41, Plaintiff Melvin William Smith, Jr., on the one hand, and Defendants AMC Networks Inc., AMC Film Holdings LLC, AMC Network Entertainment LLC, AMC TV Studios LLC, Valhalla Entertainment, Inc., Skybound Productions, Inc., Circle of Confusion Productions, LLC, New Circle of Confusion Productions, LLC, Robert Kirkman, LLC, Robert Kirkman, and David Alpert, on the other, hereby stipulate to the dismissal of this proceeding with prejudice, with each party to bear his or its own fees, costs, and expenses.”

Dead Ahead scribe Mel Smith, who in July sued the network claiming Season Two was derived from his comic book series, claimed both works featured the “identical premise of a ragtag group of individuals thrown together by a zombie apocalypse fleeing to the Pacific Ocean on a boat.”

Though the settlement is confidential, Smith is reportedly “pleased with the outcome,” per Deadline.

Among those involved in the suit were Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who co-created Fear with former show runner Dave Erickson, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment, and Kirkman’s Skybound Productions, which the scribe and producer shares with David Alpert.

The network didn’t deny it “had access” to Smith’s work, which Smith said passed through his agent, Alpert. In February, Koh shot down AMC’s attempt to get the suit dismissed.

Season Two of Fear saw Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and her band of survivors — including children Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Nick (Frank Dillane) — flee a walker-infested Los Angeles and set sail aboard the Abigail, a yacht commandeered by Victor Strand (Colman Domingo).

Fear returns with its fifth season this summer on AMC, continuing on with new group leader Morgan (Walking Dead transplant Lennie James) in the lead role. Also joining Season Four newcomers Garret Dillahunt, Jenna Elfman, Maggie Grace, Alexa Nisenson, Mo Collins, and Daryl Mitchell are Once Upon a Time star Karen David and former Walking Dead star Austin Amelio, whose Dwight joins Fear for the second major crossover from the flagship series.

AMC has yet to announce an exact return date.

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