The cable channel TruTV has been sued over a show about shoplifting, Deadline.com reports. The lawsuit was filed by aspiring show creators Harry Dunn and Steven Bloch, who say the channel lifted their idea for a show called “Hands Off the Merchandise,” which was reportedly pitched to TruTV in 2008.
In February of this year, the channel ran “Caught Red Handed,” a special about shoplifting. TruTV has a series in the works by the same title, set to premiere Nov. 6.
The story notes that “the duo, who say they came up with the idea for the show, didn’t actually engage with the network. Producers Scott Hallock and Kevin Healey, with whom Dunn and Bloch signed a collaboration agreement, did that for them. In 2009, after various meetings and ‘enthusiasm,’ as the suit puts it, on the network’s part, TruTV told Hallock and Healey that they were going to pass on the idea. The producers passed the bad news onto Bloch and Dunn.”
“Caught Red Handed” focuses on store detectives assisting stores in the battle against shoplifters.
The lawsuit states: “The idea, concept and format of the CRH Special and the CRH Series are identical to and indistinguishable from the HOTM Concept, which was created, developed and is owned in its entirety by Plaintiffs.”
The report notes: “Dunn and Bloch want the court to issue an injunction to stop ‘Caught Red Handed’ from going to air right away. The suit cites a number of counts including breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. In their desire for a jury trial after an injunction is granted, Dunn and Bloch are seeking a full accounting from TruTV plus unnamed punitive, compensatory, and exemplary damages. They also want any profits the network may have made from the as-yet unaired series and all legal fees and ‘other and further relief as the Court deems equitable.’”