CBS Takes Further Legal Action Against ABC Over The Glass House
Author: Kelly West
published: 2012-06-08 09:29:24
Well, if CBS' intention was to help ABC out with publicity for their upcoming reality series The Glass House, they're doing a decent job of it. Though, their attempts to keep the show from airing probably indicate otherwise, despite all of the attention it's garnering. The reality competition series is supposed to begin airing later this month, but if CBS has its way, that won't happen.
CBS is claiming that The Glass House is too similar to their own long-running reality TV series Big Brother, and let's face it, it kind of is. Like Big Brother, The Glass House is an elimination series that centers on a group of people who live in a house and compete against one another for money, which is pretty much what Big Brother is. I expect there will be some differences between the two shows, (like the look of the house, for example), but it's more or less the same concept, and it's airing during the summer just as Big Brother does each year. CBS took legal action against the show last month and, according to EW, filed a temporary restraining order last night to keep ABC from premiering the show on June 18 as planned.
As EW notes, the case is in the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Perhaps the restraining order was a necessary approach to put a hault on the show while the case continues. If it works, CBS could throw off the whole schedule for the series, which, like Big Brother but unlike many other reality series, will be playing out while it's airing.
From a non-legal standpoint, I can see both sides of the issue here. CBS has a point in that The Glass House sounds extremely similar to Big Brother. And while CBS didn't "invent" the concept of the series (it's an international format by Endemol productions), they have been airing the U.S. version of the series for more than a decade. Plus, from what's being reported, there may be close to thirty former Big Brother employees working on ABC's Glass House production, which is where "trade secret misappropriation" likely factors in.
But on the other hand, where is the line as far as reality TV show formats go? We have a number of singing competitions airing on network TV, more than enough dating shows, cooking competitions and other types of reality competition series that use similar rules and formats. So is Big Brother the only show that's allowed to quarantine people in a house and set them to compete against each other? Or can their be some competition in the market just as there seems to be for any other kind of reality show? I suppose that's what the courts will have to sort out.
Those interested in The Glass House might want to check out ABC.com tomorrow (June 9) as the site is supposed to start letting potential viewers start voting on different aspects of the house.
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