CBS Suffers Another 'Glass House' Legal Setback

CBS was today denied their request for a fast discovery process in the network’s lawsuit against ABC’s Glass House. This comes less than a week after a District Court judge in the case (read it here) refused CBS’ request for a temporary restraining order to stop production and broadcasting of Glass House, which debuted on June 18 as planned. “In view of the District Court’s ruling, there is no basis for expedited discovery,” ruled Magistrate Judge John McDermott today. On May 10, CBS sued ABC and various Glass House producers claiming their new show was a ripoff of the network’s Big Brother. McDermott’s four page order (Read it here) takes a lot of the urgency out of CBS’s case. In fact, the judge noted that if the dueling networks can’t work out some of the discovery process themselves, CBS can present a new motion after an upcoming scheduling conference. As the discovery aspect of the case moved forward and backward, CBS file a request for a TRO on June 7 to stop Glass House. Judge Gary Feess said at a June 15 hearing with both network’s lawyer that he was inclined to deny the request. “CBS has not convinced me that they will succeed in their copyright claims,” he said. “CBS seeks to protect the idea of a show of contestants in a house where cameras are running…you can’t copyright that…. I don’t know if Glass House will have any effect on Big Brother... It will continue to go forward and be successful.” On June 22, the judge issued his formal denial of the TRO request. Despite ABC’s claims of spending $16 million in promotion, Glass House debuted to soft ratings on June 18. The show’s ratings declined even more in its second week. CBS is represented by Scott Edelman, Michael Seitz, Theane Evangelis Kapur and Blaine Evanson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. ABC is represented by Glenn Pomerantz, Jonathan Altman and Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

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