In a statement, Shine said N&S was "reneging on contractual commitments" by refusing to pay it - and other indies - fees for shows that had been agreed with previous C5 owner RTL. Representatives for N&S were unavailable for comment.
Shine is also offering to support smaller UK indies embroiled in disputes with the broadcaster.
According to UK producers' body Pact, around 10 firms are currently having issues with C5 relating to payment.
"There is a major problem," Pact CEO John McVay . "Instead of the previously agreed 30-day payments, C5 is now suddenly saying 60 days and end of the month, which in some cases means 90 days. For a smaller company, that's a major cash-flow issue."
McVay added that the situation has become a problem for indies over the past fortnight, and said Pact was hoping to come to a resolution with N&S. "We are making our views felt strongly to C5 and to Ofcom as well. Staff at C5 are trying as much as they can, but they don't write the cheques at the end of the day."
In a statement, a Shine spokesman said: "Shine cannot tolerate a new owner of a public service broadcaster reneging on contractual commitments made by C5's previous owner, RTL, and has instructed litigator Reed Smith to use all legal recourse to recover the near £1m debt."
He added that Shine was "able to stand up to C5's new owners throwing their weight around" on account of its size. "However, for smaller companies, who are the backbone of our creative economy, this behaviour threatens their very survival.
"The Shine Group is therefore offering support to independent C5 programme makers who are threatened with insolvency by N&S's refusal to pay overdue bills." The spokesman clarified that such support would be in the form of legal advice and discussion, and not financial aid.
In addition to Don't Stop Believing, which was produced in partnership with WPP's GroupM Entertainment, Shine also produces The Wright Stuff and Eddie Stobart: Trucks & Trailers for C5.
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