I don’t know how many of you are keeping up with the battle of the super networks over Big Brother, but the lawsuit is getting nasty. Like, Miss Jackson nasty!
Here’s the background info: ABC just developed a new reality show called Glass House. The premise is pretty much that big brother is always watching a bunch of wannabe stars living in a glass house and competing for prizes.
Well, if that sounds familiar to you – CBS agrees. They sent ABC a cease and desist letter demanding the show be pulled as it is a blatant rip off of Big Brother, the long running and immensely popular reality show built around a similar premise.
Well, now CBS is suing ABC! Whoa… is the earth going to implode now? TMZ reports that the suit is now in a LA federal court and CBS’s suit alleges: “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then CBS should take pride in ABC’s latest reality television project, ‘Life in a Glass House.’” They are calling the show a “carbon copy” of Big Brother and accuses ABC of making an “obvious attempt … to capitalize on its unique success.”
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CBS also accuses ABC of theft! And they are trying to prevent the rival network from stealing its copyrightable expression, trade secrets, and other confidential information. Apparently, CBS believes ABC has hired at least 19 former Big Brother employees to work on Glass House and they believe those employees are disclosing CBS’s trade secrets and other confidential information to produce the show and make it as successful as Big Brother. CBS also claims one of the Glass House executives has been actively trying to “poach” other current Big Brother employees!
And three high level former CBS employees who defected are getting called out as well! CBS wants them to fork over a hefty $500,000 EACH for violating a confidentiality contract. As for ABC, they’re being sued for an unspecified amount!
Well, that was two weeks ago and now ABC is responding and claiming CBS is full of it! TMZ, again, reports that ABC asked the judge to throw the “over-the-top” suit out of court. ABC claims it’s impossible to steal so-called secrets because nothing about Big Brother is secretive. The show has been on for like fifty years at this point.
ABC calls the insinuation “outrageous,” claiming: “there is nothing secret about editing a program with multiple feeds together or developing a narrative structure for it. That is reality TV.” And ABC says the idea of concept theft is ridiculous, arguing there is nothing revolutionary about isolating contestants, filming them, and running competitions.
Also, ABC claims there are big differences between the two programs, such as Glass House is “team-oriented game” and Big Brother is an “every man for himself theme.”
As for the allegation that they are stealing employees, ABC says the employees chose to leave because CBS producers run brutal ship. They state, “it is common knowledge in the industry that low pay and the 24 hours a day/7 days a week filming schedule makes life on the Big Brother set difficult.” The suit adds, “That employees prefer a different show with benefits and better hours is hardly evidence of a trade secret violation.”
ABC wants the court to deny the demands made by CBS, so they can continue to produce Glass House. A judge has yet to rule. We’ll keep you posted!
BTW: The new season of Big Brother premieres July 12th at 9/8c. A teaser of the new season is below!
IS ABC STEALING IDEAS FROM BIG BROTHER? DO YOU WATCH BIG BROTHER?