Inside the hush-hush HATE between the cast and network that will never allow a TV special reunion!
HERE’s some bad news for millions of “Happy Days” fans.
The beloved sitcom, which ran for 10 years beginning in January 1974, marked the 20th and 30th anniversaries of its debut with reunion specials – but The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively there will NOT be a 40th anniversary special.
Bitter feelings from a $10 million court battle, pitting several cast members against producers, have dashed hopes for another “Happy Days” reunion to celebrate one of the most popular shows ever.
Although the lawsuit was settled in 2012, CBS, which produced the show for ABC, is still furious over the legal action and is refusing to do the special even though several cast members would jump at the opportunity.
“I would love to do a reunion show,” Anson Williams, who played teen Potsie Weber on the show, told The ENQUIRER.
But a spokesman for CBS, which still owns the sitcom, confirmed: “The 40th anniversary show isn’t going to happen at all. CBS still has bitter feelings over the lawsuit and payout.”
Several cast members filed suit in 2011 when they realized that they had not been paid their guaranteed percentages from the merchandising bonanza – including lunch boxes, dolls, toy cars, magnets, T-shirts, comic books and even slot machines bearing the actors’ images.
The lawsuit resulted in a victory for the cast, except for Henry “The Fonz” Winkler and Ron Howard, who did not participate in the suit.
Insiders reveal that each cast member who sued initially got $6,500, which Marion Ross, who played Mrs. Cunningham, blasted at the time as “chump change.”
Later, that figure was increased to $65,000 plus future royalties.
“We were bucking an awfully big network,” the actress recently told The ENQUIRER. “We settled, but it wasn’t monumental.”
Although she added: “There is no bitterness in me now,” CBS has neither forgotten nor forgiven. But its attempts to block the reunion have not hurt the enduring friendships of cast members.
Happily, Williams stays in touch with co-stars Don Most, Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, and says: “It’s not like our relationships are in the past. We’re still like brothers. We even had our own softball team, and if I had my fantasy right now, I would go get the guys together for one more ball game.”