ABC Files Counterclaim Against CBS in The Glass House vs. Big Brother Smackdown
The ABC/CBS legal saga continues. In response to CBS' temporary restraining order last week — which attempted to prevent ABC from airing The Glass House — ABC retaliated with a counterclaim in court Monday.
CBS believes The Glass House is a direct rip-off of its long-running hit Big Brother. The Glass House, which is set to premiere on Monday, June 18, follows 14 contestants as they live together and compete for $250,000. Similar to Big Brother, contestants will go head-to-head in competitions and will be eliminated weekly. Unlike Big Brother, America will have the chance to vote, manipulating different outcomes within the house.
CBS files restraining order against ABC to halt premiere of The Glass House
However, ABC claims that "none of the alleged similarities shared by Big Brother and The Glass House involve copyright protectable elements — they are all generic staples of the reality show genre: people living in a house, competing with each other to avoid elimination, and winning a prize," Entertainment Weekly reports.
Another ABC argument? The inner workings of Big Brother aren't exactly kept under wraps, as journalists are frequently taken on tours of the house and a You Tube video is available that shows the behind-the-scenes workings, the filing states.
Reality TV's copycat fight: Can CBS stop ABC's Glass House?
Another bone of contention for CBS is that The Glass House is executive-produced by former Big Brother producer Kenny Rosen, who is joined by a team of at least 27 other former Big Brother staff and crew members.
But according to ABC's counterclaim, "there was no conspiracy to hire away Big Brother employees... to the contrary, in reality TV production, nearly everyone works as a freelancer moving from show to show, network to network. Workers often follow a showrunner (like Kenny Rosen, The Glass House's showrunner) with whom they like working."
CBS to ABC: Don't even try to rip off Big Brother
ABC's filing also states that the reality show has already amassed $16 million in promotion costs and if its premiere were postponed, it "would seriously undermine the show's potential success."
CBS responded with a statement: "We believe that our filing last week, the testimony from copyright expert Jeff Rovin and The Glass House producer's own deposition speak for themselves and speak loudly on our behalf. Nothing in the defendants' submission can change the basic facts."
Whose side are you on? Will you tune in to The Glass House if it premieres on Monday?