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CBS Sues to Stop ABC's 'Glass House' From Airing
Temporary restraining order sought for 'Big Brother'-like competition series
CBS asked a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to keep ABC's "Glass
House" off the air until the CBS case, which accuses ABC off ripping
off its own "Big
Brother," can go to trial.
In a motion filed Thursday, CBS contends that the ABC show, set to premiere
June 18, has not only stolen the concept of "Big Brother" -- 12 to 14 people
live in a house where their moves are constantly monitored -- but also poached
former staffers from "Big Brother."
CBS also accuses the ABC show of stealing trade secrets that enable "Big
Brother" to produce episodes with very quick turnaround time, even as fans
monitor the house live online.
CBS acknowledged it was rare for a judge to order a show not to air, but it
contends that such an order is necessary in this case because the copyright
infringement and theft of trade secrets are so egregious.
ABC said in a statement that CBS's lawsuit was "a naked attempt ... 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."
In its filing, CBS demanded that "Glass House" return confidential,
proprietary materials related to "Big Brother" and "ease further destroying"
evidence in the case. Citing a lengthy deposition with "Glass House" executive
producer Kenny Rosen -- a former "Big Brother" producer -- CBS claims that Rosen
"admitted to destroying potentially relevant emails."
Rosen also showed a "Big Brother" control-room schedule to a producer, and
said he consulted it "to figure out how many story positions I would need" for
"Glass House," CBS said. He also said he watched several episodes of "Big
Brother" in March.
"When asked why he did so, he said it was to remind himself of how the 'Big
Brother' story was told and sarcastically remarked that he wanted to 'remind
himself what a great' producer he was," CBS' motion said.