HBO, Gandolfini Spar Over Deal


Home Box Office shot back at Sopranos star
James Gandolfini Friday after the actor sued HBO to get out of his current

Gandolfini, who plays Tony Soprano on the hit series,
filed suit in California Supreme Court claiming that HBO violated his contract
after the network offered series producer David Chase $20 million for the
upcoming fifth season without his knowledge, according to the British
Broadcasting Corp. News Web site (


Gandolfini is seeking a major salary increase to appear in the fifth and
possibly last season of the series.

HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht called the lawsuit "disappointing" and
confirmed that the network had offered Gandolfini "a very substantial increase"
over the reported $400,000 per episode he is currently receiving without any
contractual obligation to do so.

"We were doing this out of respect for Jim and in recognition of his talent
and hard work," Albrecht said in a prepared statement. "To have him now act in a
manner so destructive to the show and the lives of the people involved is
shocking and disappointing."