Times Staff Writer

Lily Tomlin, who earlier this month won a Tony Award for her one-woman Broadway play, has gone to court to block distribution of a documentary about that stage show.

In a lawsuit filed in Superior Court here Wednesday, the actress charged that the producers of the documentary "Lily," have exceeded contractual limits about how much material from the Broadway production could be included.

The suit seeks a restraining order to prevent producers Joan Churchill and Nicholas Broomfield from selling or distributing the documentary until the claimed contractual demands are met. "Lily" is scheduled for broadcast on the Public Broadcasting Service in January.

Churchill and Broomfield could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The lawsuit said that Tomlin signed a contract with the producers in 1984 to make a documentary for non-commercial television about the development of the show, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," which is now playing on Broadway.

But the finished program was only supposed to contain 15 minutes of material from the actual show, the suit said. Instead, the version that Tomlin viewed in February and again in April contained 30 minutes, it said.

In a statement released Thursday, Tomlin said that, "We hope to resolve our problems amicably. We've hoped to do that all along."

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