- (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Don Johnson has received a $19 million payout from Rysher Entertainment, producers of "Nash Bridges." He was originally awarded $50 million by the court, but that amount was greatly reduced on an appeal by the Rysher company.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson is happy to end the lawsuit he brought against Rysher in 2010. Johnson claimed that he was owed the money due to a clause in his original contract with Rysher that entitled him to "half-ownership" of "Nash Bridges" should it last 66 episodes.
The hit series of the '90s went on to air 122 episodes, leading to Johnson's claim that he should receive the respective profits. Rysher disagreed and claimed that the series was expensive to make and that the company was actually in debt to the tune of $40 million.
A jury found otherwise and awarded Johnson $23.2 million in damages plus half of any future profits form the show.
"The jury read the contract the way I understood it, and the way I meant it in 1995," Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter after the trial. "It makes you want to stand up and sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'"
"In the end, today's outcome will be reversed," Bart Williams, Rysher's attorney, told the Reporter. The outcome was indeed reversed on appeal, and Johnson wound up with $19 million.
"Bridges" aired from 1996 to 2001 and starred Johnson and Cheech Marin as two detectives with the San Francisco Police Department. The show was not expected to last as long as it did, but in the end produced 122 episodes that are still aired as re-runs across the globe.
The show came to a close in 2001 as the more popular "Law and Order: SVU" began to grow in popularity. "Bridges" was canceled, and Johnson was eager "to explore other options," his publicist Elliot Mintz, told the San Francisco Gate.
"All good things come to an end," Marin told the paper. "I'll still be around. The good thing is that I get to play more golf."