Walt Disney Co. is being sued by comedy writer Buddy Sheffield, who alleges he was never paid for coming up with the idea for the teen TV series, HANNAH MONTANA, reports VARIETY. In a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Aug. 23, 2007, Sheffield is claiming breach of contract, breach of confidence, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
In 2001, Sheffield (THE SMOTHER BROTHERS SHOW, IN LIVING COLOR) pitched the idea for a series called ROCK AND ROLAND, about a middle school student who lives a double life as a rock star. HANNAH MONTANA follows a high school student who lives a double life as a pop star. Disney Channel was apparently interested in Sheffield's idea, but later decided not to option it. HANNAH MONTANA debuted on Disney Channel in March 2006.
MONTANA has proved a merchandising windfall for Disney. Sheffield is demanding a share of the revenue.