Marques Houston Likely To Miss Scream Dates Due To TV Show

Producers of 'Cuts' file preemptive breach-of-contract suit.

Marques Houston might have to miss some dates on the Scream IV tour with Bow Wow and Omarion due to a scheduling conflict with his UPN TV show, “Cuts,” whose producers are suing him for breach of contract.

The tour kicked off two weeks ago, on July 20 in Trenton, New Jersey, and is scheduled to wrap September 4 in Miami (see “Bow Wow, Omarion Roll Out Scream IV Summer Dates” ). But for “Cuts” to return for a second season on September 22, as scheduled, production had to start on Wednesday (August 3). Anticipating that Houston would not be there, since his tour schedule would have him in Las Vegas that day, the show’s production company, Paramount, filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Calling Houston’s decision to go on tour a “blatant disregard” for his contractual obligations, Paramount’s suit claims Houston had indicated through his representatives that he would be unavailable to meet the show’s current production schedule. “The loss of Houston’s services on the series will cause Paramount significant harm,” the suit claims, since the show will be faced with the loss of a lead character, “the loss of which cannot be compensated in money.”

“Cuts,” a spinoff of UPN’s “One on One,” stars Houston as Kevin Barnes, who co-manages his family’s former barbershop with the new owner’s spoiled daughter, Tiffany, played by Shannon Elizabeth.

In the suit, Paramount asks for unspecified damages and an injunction preventing Houston from performing “for any person, firm, corporation or entity” other than “Cuts” until the completion of the first-run broadcast of all episodes of the series.

Both sides are now trying to resolve the matter out of court. After the suit was filed, Houston reported to work on “Cuts” on Wednesday after all, according to his attorney. Houston’s lawyer is proposing the singer fly back and forth between rehearsals and show dates, which would require the singer to miss a few shows and a few rehearsals on both ends.

The dates Houston would not be performing on the Scream IV Tour have yet to be announced.

(MTV’s parent company, Viacom, also owns Paramount and UPN.)