Last week, two original creators of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” sued their one-time partner and the television network, Bravo, for fraud, civil conspiracy, and breach of contract.
The plaintiffs, Kevin Kaufman and Patrick Moses, claim to have developed the original idea for the first “Real Housewives” series with producer Scott Dunlop. The three sold the show to Bravo in 2005 and created the production company, Ventana, in 2006 to produce the show. The complaint alleges that after the show aired, Dunlop and Bravo conspired to end the production contract with Ventana. Bravo wanted to retain Dunlop in the position of executive producer as he lived in Coto de Caza, the gated community in which the show takes place.
Dunlop diverted Ventana’s contract rights to himself, though he did not have the authority to do so, and forced Kaufman and Moses out of the show’s production. Moses did not learn until many years later that Dunlop was still receiving compensation in producer’s fees and royalties that should’ve belonged to Ventana. The show has since borne several spin-off’s in Atlanta and New Jersey, among others. Kaufman and Moses seek $5 million in damages.