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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Buddy Sheffield, Hannah Montana, Disney Channel and Miley Cyrus-driven Empire

Buddy Sheffield, who claims the Disney Channel swiped his idea for a sitcom about a normal kid who moonlights as a pop star and turned it into the multimedia behemoth that is Hannah Montana, has requested that the network's parent company turn over its financials relating to the Miley Cyrus-driven empire.

He sued ABC Cable Networks Group in August for breach of implied contract, breach of confidentiality and other unfair competition and unjust enrichment. The case was ordered to mediation in January but, apparently, no one has said the magic words yet.

Meanwhile, ABC has not been forthcoming with the documents detailing the proceeds from TV, Internet, music, film, radio, books, magazines, advertising, licensing and all other aspects that go into making the brand, according to court documents filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

In turn, Sheffield's team has been unable to obtain the info it has asked for regarding the "financial exploitation of Hannah Montana of every kind in the media," the motion states.

Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC has denied any creativity-snatching on its part. The corporation's counsel has tried to get the case moved into federal court but has been twice denied.

A hearing on Sheffield's motion to peruse the contents of the Hannah Montana treasure chest is scheduled for June 19. A trial has been set for Aug 26 in case the two sides can't settle their differences in mediation.

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