Mark Burnett

Jeffrey Mayer/

Call it Survivor: The California Legal System.

Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind CBS' seminal reality series, is hoping his lawyers can outwit, outlast and outplay those of former partner Conrad Riggs, who just tagged Burnett with a megalawsuit over Survivor earnings.

In his complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Burnett's ex-dealmaker is seeking $70 million for his work on Survivor, as well as The Apprentice, The Restaurant, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and Rock Star: INXS.

There was no immediate comment from Burnett.

Per the suit, Riggs had a key role in negotiating various deals with networks, talent and corporate sponsors.

"Their joint efforts have...generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues," the lawsuit states. "While Burnett deserves much of the creative credit, Riggs played a crucial role in the financial success of the enterprise."

The suit claims Burnett stopped paying Riggs in February and by April had him forced out of the company's headquarters.

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