Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has earned plenty of acclaim and awards nominations, but now it is earning a lawsuit. A man is suing Seinfeld, claiming he came up with the idea of an informal show featuring the Seinfeld star talking to fellow comedians over a cup of coffee.
According to documents obtained by TMZ, Christian Charles claims he pitched a similar show to Seinfeld back in 2002. At the time, Seinfeld said he was not interested.
Charles claims he got a call back form Seinfeld nine years later to talk about the concept again. He says they even shot a pilot, with Seinfeld in a car. Seinfeld and his team were really excited about the project and even started plotting a budget and how to market the show.
Seinfeld got angry with Charles, who insisted on a cut of the show's earnings. He claims Seinfeld stopped working with him and began making the show without him.
Charles wants financial compensation and a "created by" credit on the show. He claims Seinfeld is earning $750,000 per episode.
Each episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee features Seinfeld driving around with one of his many classic cars to pick up a fellow comedian. They explore their pasts and share stories over a cup of joe. Jim Careey, David Letterman, Norm MacDonald, Lewis Black, Kristen Wiig and many others have been interviewed in the show. President Barack Obama also filmed an episode.
Comedians In Cars kicked off in 2012 and started on Sony's Crackle platform. As part of Seinfeld's new deal with Netflix, the series moved over to the much more popular platform in January 2017, Deadline reported at the time.
The series earned Emmy nominations in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and has won three Webby Awards.
As for Charles, he directed the 2002 documentary Comedians, which focused on Seinfeld and a lesser-known comic starting out. He is also credited as the director on the Comedians in Cars episode "You Don't Want to Offend a Cannibal" with Barry Marder.