CBS Makes Good on Threat, Files Lawsuit Against ABC

May 11, 2012  •  Post A Comment

CBS has filed a lawsuit against ABC, making good on a threat it made earlier this week. CBS wants to put the brakes on a new reality show in the works at ABC that CBS thinks is too much like its own long-running reality show "Big Brother," reports The New York Times’ Bill Carter.

CBS fired off a warning letter to ABC a few days ago, as we reported earlier this week.

As previously reported, ABC is readying "The Glass House" for a June 18 debut. the show features contestants trying to outlast each other while living under the same roof.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by CBS in Federal District Court in Los Angeles, with the network asking the court to block ABC from airing the series, the story notes.

"CBS argues that the ABC show represents copyright infringement and that the producers, most of whom previously worked on ‘Big Brother,’ are violating nondisclosure agreements they signed when they left that series," Carter writes.

ABC said the lawsuit has no merit. “The differences between ‘Glass House’ and ‘Big Brother’ are both fundamental and obvious, ranging from ‘Glass House’s’ interactive elements and audience participation to its deployment of cutting-edge technologies,” the network said in a statement.

Similar lawsuits haven’t been successful in the past, Carter writes. "Suits trying to stop copycat reality shows from being produced have been consistently rejected by courts in the past, largely because even small variations in format can be defended as a different reality," the story says.

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