Author Angela Wilder has sued the network, the companies and some head executives alleging that her idea for a talk show based on motherhood was the real inspiration for the CBS daytime series. “It’s one thing to get sued over a project that was pitched to us, but quite a stretch to be sued over a pitch that was made to somebody else. Ms. Wilder’s alleged offering to Sony played absolutely no part in the creation of The Talk. We’ll vigorously defend this case and expect to prevail,” said CBS today. Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, Aisha Tyler and Big Brother host Julie Chen co-host the CBS Television Studios and RelativityREAL produced show. CBS has always said that The Talk, which debuted in October 2010, is based on an idea by Gilbert. The Powerful Mate Syndrome author obviously disagrees. However, as made clear from the seven-count suit she filed on October 17, Wilder never actually met with anyone from either CBS or Relativity – though both are named among the defendants.
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In her suit, Wilder does say she met with Holly Jacobs, Sony’s Senior Vice-President of Reality and Syndication Programming in December 2008. Wilder says she brought a TV show idea to that meeting The suit states that at the end of their one-hour together, Jacobs turned down Wilder’s The Mothers’ Hood pitch. Wilder says she left two copies of her WGA and U.S. Copyright Office-registered treatment with Jacobs. “Jacobs and Sony had a close working relationship with RelativityREAL, LLC, and its Chief Executive Officer, Tom Forman, such that Forman, his company, and CBS all had direct and easy access to Wilder’s Treatment during the development stage of The Talk,” says Wilder’s suit. Connecting the dots, the suit also states that defendant Forman “was very well-connected with CBS” who “fully funded” his Tom Forman Productions before he joined RelativityREAL. In her request for a jury trial, Wilder seeks punitive, compensatory, consequential, restitution and statutory damages as well as legal fees and “other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper under the circumstances.” Wilder is represented by Peter Toren and Neesa Sethi of Washington DC firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley.