Writer Sues Disney Over "Hannah Montana"

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actress Miley Cyrus promotes her Walt Disney Records release of the soundtrack from her TV series Hannah Montana by appearing on MTV's Total Request Live October 23, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
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A comedy writer is suing The Walt Disney Co., alleging he came up with the idea for the teen television show "Hannah Montana" but was never compensated.

Buddy Sheffield filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday alleging breach of contract, breach of confidence, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

Disney officials could not be reached at the company's Burbank offices Thursday evening for comment.


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Sheffield, who has written for "The Smothers Brothers Show," "The Dolly Parton Show" and "In Living Color," says he pitched an idea for a television series called "Rock and Roland" to the Disney Channel in 2001. The story was about a junior high school student who lived a secret double life as a rock star, according to the lawsuit.

Disney Channel officials at first liked the idea, but ultimately passed on it, the lawsuit alleges.

The Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" is about high school student Miley Stewart — who lives a secret double life as a famous pop star.

"Hannah Montana," starring Miley Cyrus and her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, has generated two hit music CDs and helped sell a great deal of merchandise. Sheffield says he deserves a share of the revenue.