UPDATE – 2:55 PM ABC issued the following statement today in response to CBS’s lastest legal salvo to get a temporary restraining order against the production and June 18 debut of the reality series Glass House.
CBS’s submission today underscores the frivolous nature of their claims. This entire dispute apparently boils down to the fact that both shows feature a blonde woman, both shows feature people talking in hot tubs, and both shows feature red chairs and brown pillows. CBS cannot lay ownership to the entire genre of reality television and prevent America’s viewers from watching ABC’s new and original reality show.
UPDATE: Later today, Judge Gary Feess ruled that CBS be allowed to file its documents in support of its TRO request under seal.
PREVIOUS: ABC’s Glass House “is a copy of Big Brother,” a copyright expert said today. Based on footage that ABC has put up online this week, CBS filed a declaration (read it here) from Jeff Rovin. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning on CBS’ request for a temporary restraining order to stop production on Glass House and halt its June 18 premiere. ABC began putting footage of the house and its inhabitants online earlier this week. “ABC and its creative team have introduced virtually nothing new in the way of staging, camera work, setting, narrative, wardrobe and anything else that comprise the expression of Big Brother,” said Rovin in the screenshot-heavy 11-page declaration.
On May 10. CBS sued ABC and several former Big Brother producers and employees over Glass House. The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement, trade-secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and conspiracy among other claims. ABC dismissed the suit as having “no merit.” Since then the two networks have been in a legal cage fight over the reality series. On Friday, less than 24 hours after CBS filed their TRO application, Judge Gary Feess ruled in favor of CBS’ desire for a fast-tracked TRO process. As this is happening, ABC announced the Glass House contestants and are promoting the viewer-driven voting show on an interactive beta website. Another judge has approved most of ABC’s expedited discovery process schedule, with no court ruing expect there until after Friday.