Producer Hedda Muskat claims that CAA and Ashton Kutcher’s production company deceived her and pushed her out as Co-Executive Producer on a reality series about the DMV. Claiming breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and promissory fraud in the complaint filed today in L.A. Superior Court (read it here), the Emmy-winning producer is seeking more than $12 million in damages plus other costs from the agency, Kutcher’s
Two And A Half Men star’s company and the DMV reached an agreement to work on a series featuring Motor Vehicle employees and patrons in various “humanizing and entertaining situations that arise on a daily basis” in DMV offices throughout California. In today’s filing, Muskat says the initial concept was hers based on an experience of her daughter’s at the DMV. She also claims that she built the relationships with DMV personnel to get them to agree to the show and she was encouraged by her new agency CAA to partner with Katalyst on the project. It worked out well – for a while. In May 2011 an agreement between Katalyst and the DMV was put into writing. Attached to today’s complaint, that agreement has Muskat as co-Executive Producer of the planned show. However six weeks later the state agency “abruptly and without justifiable excuse, changed course,” according to Katalyst’s 2012 suit. No so fast, says Muskat now. She lays the blame for this development on the defendants. “Due to Katalyst stripping Plaintiff of control and CAA’s failure to protect Plaintiff’s interests, the Project transformed into the same Hollywood autopilot production that the DMV feared it might become,” the complaint says. The DMV refused the production companies access to its offices and not long after, DMV Deputy Director Mike Marando told Katalyst producers that the proposed series was not in the agency’s “best interests” and they would not participate. Despite the past lawsuits and this latest one, the show was never made.
Hedda Muskat is represented by Steven Lowe and Daniel Lifschitz of LA firm Lowe & Associates.
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