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Queen of Swords lawsuit

In August 2000 the Hollywood Reporter wrote:

'Swords' in a legal duel; injunction sought

TORONTO — Lawyers for a Los Angeles TV writer have filed an application for a preliminary injunction to block the fall premiere of Paramount Television's "Queen of Swords" .... TV writer Linda Lukens has asked the Los Angeles Superior Court to block the TV series from airing in September unless she is given a "created by" credit. [Lukens' lawyer] said the upcoming Fireworks series originated from a script and treatment, also titled "Queen of Swords," written by Lukens.

The folks at Highlander Fan Central contacted the series' producers right away and were assured that filming is continuing in Spain and the producers don't forsee any delay to the premiere of the series the week of October 2.

On October 8 Steve Gorman of Reuters filed this report:

Judge sides with writer in 'Queen of Swords' duel

LOS ANGELES — An aspiring screenwriter has won the first round of a legal duel over the new TV show "Queen of Swords," which she says was hijacked into syndication by Paramount Pictures two decades after she first sold the idea to ABC.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Thursday ordered a halt to further broadcasts of the hourlong action drama, about a swashbuckling masked heroine, unless writer Linda Lukens receives a screen credit as the creator of the show....

The writer claims both she and the executive producer for the series [David Abramowitz] were represented by the same literary agency, the Broder/Kurland Agency, which also is named in the lawsuit....

Besides having the same title, both Lukens' work and the Paramount-syndicated TV show involve an avenging, masked aristocrat who, inspired by the unjust death of her father, fights evil with the help and guidance of a gypsy mystic, according to the lawsuit. Her work is set in colonial New France; the series in Spanish colonial California.

A later blurb in the Hollywood Reporter said, "A studio representative said the injunction would be stayed by Paramount's appeal of the ruling, and production and distribution of episodes will not be disrupted." Nevertheless, a few fans have reported that the show was pulled in their area.

Updated 8 October 2000

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