Syfy, NBCUniversal Hit With Lawsuit THR

Syfy and parent NBCUniversal have been sued by a production company that alleges the network stole its idea for a makeup competition show, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood, Esq.

The Syfy series, "Face Off," premiered its fourth season on the cable channel Jan. 15.

Results Group, formerly known as Studio City, claims that in May 2009 it pitched Syfy a makeup competition hosted by an actress, with a $100,000 prize. It allegedly was told that the network had decided not to pursue a show based on the idea.

After learning of Syfy’s “Face Off” project, Results asked for evidence the show wasn't copied from its pitch. The network provided documents that said "Face Off" had been in planning from before the meeting with Results.

"When the show debuted on SyFy in January 2011, the Results executives felt what they saw was very much like what they pitched. In the first episode, contestants had to make up models to look like either a beetle, an ostrich or an elephant. The suit says that conceit was substantially similar to the show that was pitched," the story notes.

The lawsuit seeks damages for the lost credit and producing fees, the cost of the lawsuit and punitive damages, as well as any money made from the program. A Syfy representative called the case "without merit."