“Flip This House” Being Sued

Richard Davis, broker-owner of Trademark Properties Real Estate Inc., goes to court today in his home city of Charleston, S.C., where he is fighting A&E Television Networks.

His suit claims A&E owes him as much as $30 million for creating the popular show, “Flip This House.”

Five years ago at the height of the real estate boom, Davis, who had no TV experience, spent $85,000 to make a TV pilot, called “Worst to First.” A&E bought it from him, renamed it and within its first season, it was a hit.

Davis claims in his lawsuit that A&E had verbally agreed to share half of the show’s revenues with him. A&E denies making such a promise.

A 50-50 split is unheard of in the television business, experts say. Generally, program creators earn a small portion of a show’s profits.

According to court documents, Davis spent $6 million buying and renovating houses in Charleston that were featured in the show’s first season. He says he was never paid for his appearances or reimbursed for his expenses.

A&E says Davis got a “powerful form of advertising” for Trademark Properties Inc.

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