Disney gets hammered in 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' suit

The Walt Disney Co. could be out much more than a million bucks thanks to a jury's award in a federal lawsuit by the creators of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

The jury awarded Celador Productions, which brought the "Millionaire" format to Disney-owned ABC in 1999, close to $270 million in damages. Celador's lawyers successfully argued that shady "Hollywood accounting" denied the company millions of dollars in profits.

The game show, hosted by Regis Philbin, became a huge hit for ABC in 1999 and helped revive the network's fortunes (at least for a while; overscheduling led to its decline a couple years later). A syndicated version of the show, distributed by another Disney company, is still on the air.

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