UPDATE 12:15 AM – As expected, CBS filed an application tonight for a temporary restraining order to “cease production of, and refrain from broadcasting, the show Glass House until the trial of this matter…” The 37-page document also adds that “if the Court is not willing to order Defendants to cease production of Glass House at this time, CBS respectfully requests that, at a minimum, the Court order Defendants to produce the first taped episode of Glass House by June 15, 2012 to allow CBS’s counsel to evaluate its contents, and to allow the parties to address it in any further briefing regarding CBS’s request for a preliminary injunction.” Glass House, which CBS contends is a rip-off of its Big Brother reality series, is set to debut on June 18, 2012.
This is a naked attempt by CBS to stifle competition and creativity by claiming that reality techniques that have been developed over many years, on many shows by countless producers, are somehow exclusive to CBS.
PREVIOUS: CBS’ outside counsel tonight will file for a temporary restraining order against ABC in an effort to prevent ABC from premiering the Big Brother-like new reality series Glass House on June 18. The filing will be made electronically at midnight with US District Court judge Gary Allen Feess. The move was expected as the discovery phase in CBS’ lawsuit against Disney and ABC over Glass House has been moving slowly, and a federal judge not expected to make a ruling in the case before June 15 at the earliest. That is the Friday before the Monday, June 18 scheduled debut of Glass House.
We’ve learned that the TRO request is based primarily on the deposition for former Big Brother producer Kenny Rosen, now executive producer/showrunner of Glass House. In a deposition with CBS lawyers last Sunday, he admitted to taking a copy of the Big Brother Guest Manual and having it typed up separately as part of a Glass House manual. Given that the manual is considered a proprietary document and viewed as highly confidential by CBS, the network lawyers will argue that that is a clear violation of the non-disclosure agreement Rosen signed when at Big Brother. Rosen also admitted about two-thirds through his depo that he “consulted” the Big Brother Master Control schedule in an effort to partially figure out how many people he would have to hire for the production of Glass House. Rosen’s attorney Devin McRae shut down the line of questioning at that point, claiming attorney/client privilege. But Rosen also allegedly revealed that even more former Big Brother staffers being employed by Glass House than previously known. He put the number at 25-30, half of the ABC series’ staff. He also acknowledged that development of Glass House at ABC started around the time former Big Brother producer Corie Henson joined the network as an executive in the unscripted department. Additionally, Rosen admitted to deleting Glass House-related emails after CBS had filed its lawsuit over the show.