'Supernatural' Creator and Warner Bros. In Fight Over Profits

The Winchester brothers may battle the forces of darkness on Supernatural, but it turns out that, for series creator Eric Kripke, the real fight is against Warner Bros.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is in arbitration with Kripke over The CW's Supernatural, one of the longet running shows on television. The show, which started its thirteenth season this year, is successful, but according to a 2013 profit statement from Warner Bros, the show grossed $570 million across the first eight seasons. The studio claimed that after expenses and other fees, the show made no profit and instead had a $23 million deficit, which meant no money for those involved with the show who were entitled to a percentage of profits.

It's that accounting that Kripke objects to. According to Kripke's audit claim, the studio should be bringing in significantly more money via license fees, meaning that the money would be there for his share of profits.

"The show is one of The CW's most successful series," the claim states. "It is customary in the television industry for studios to obtain license fees from networks that, starting in Seaon 5, equal or exceed the cost of producing the show. ... If Warners had merely received a full cost license fee from The CW for Season 5 through 8, the gross receipts would be increased by $104,005,323."

And it's not just network license fees. Kripke also wants more information about the fees for on-demand services, such as Netflix and Hulu.

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While Warner Bros. has responded that Kripke granted WBTV "absolute discretion and control" over the show's distribution and also brings up the fixed fees Kripke recieved in earlier seasons, this dispute over Supernatural isn't the only financial concern the studio currently has on its plate. Mad Max: Fury Road's George Miller is suing the studio over lost earnings, claiming the studio forced production to exceed $150 million and thus forfeit a bonus the production house was due if they stayed under that sum.

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.