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CBS seeks restraining order over 'Big Brother'-like show on ABC

June 08, 2012|By Scott Collins
  • Andrea is a contestant on ABC's upcoming reality series "The Glass House."
Andrea is a contestant on ABC's upcoming reality series "The… (Craig Sjodin/ABC. )

CBS has decided to throw a bigger rock at “The Glass House.”

The network was set to file late Thursday night for a temporary restraining order against the show, which pits 14 contestants against one another in a house wired with cameras and microphones and is due to premiere on ABC on June 18. Claiming the series is a blatant rip-off of its summer staple “Big Brother,” CBS originally filed a lawsuit against ABC and other defendants for copyright infringement and additional claims last month.

The latest move is an attempt to block the rapidly approaching premiere before CBS’ complaint becomes moot.

Given the derivative nature of much TV programming, such copyright claims are seldom successful. But CBS believes it may have an edge. In a deposition for the copyright case in U.S. District Court, Kenny Rosen – a former “Big Brother” producer who now serves as the executive producer of “Glass House” – reportedly said that the ABC show snatched up as many as 30 former employees from “Big Brother” and that the producers also consulted the CBS show’s “production bible” – a book outlining standards and creative approaches - in crafting their own series.

For its part, ABC says it can see right through the latest legal maneuver.

“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,” an ABC statement said.

What do you think of this latest clash over reality TV?

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