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ABC slams CBS over efforts to shatter “Glass House”

U.S. broadcaster ABC has accused rival net CBS of attempting to "stifle competition and creativity," after the Eye network filed for a temporary restraining order in a bid to prevent the launch of ABC's forthcoming reality series The Glass House.
June 8, 2012

U.S. broadcaster ABC has accused rival net CBS of attempting to “stifle competition and creativity,” after the Eye network filed for a temporary restraining order in a bid to prevent the launch of ABC’s forthcoming reality series The Glass House.

As reported last month, The Glass House will bring 14 contestants together in a wired, state-of-the-art house, competing for a prize of a quarter of a million dollars. ABC recently announced the cast for the show online.

The series is executive produced by Kenny Rosen (Hell’s Kitchen and Big Brother) and set to launch on June 18. However, CBS’s petition could stymie the launch.

The Eye network feels that the show too closely resembles its own Big Brother series, and filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against ABC, Disney and several former Big Brother producers, citing copyright infringement, trade-secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and conspiracy among other claims.

CBS’s lawsuit accuses The Glass House of being “a carbon copy” of Big Brother, and says at least 19 former producers and staff from Big Brother are working on the new show.

ABC, meanwhile, has countered that Glass House has “fundamental and obvious” differences from the Big Brother format, including “interactive elements,” “audience participation” and “deployment of cutting edge technologies.”

In a statement issued yesterday, ABC said of the latest injunction attempt: “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.”

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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