One week after firing off a letter to ABC threatening legal action if it went ahead with plans to air new summer reality series “The Glass House,” CBS has sued the network over what it calls ABC’s “carbon copy” of CBS’s summer reality series “Big Brother.”
In its lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, CBS claims the new show is in violation of its copyright, and that the new project has taken secrets obtained from its own long-running summer reality series. CBS notes “The Glass House” employs around 19 former “Big Brother” staffers, who, the network charges, are disclosing trade secrets and violating the non-disclosure agreement they had signed while working on “BB.”
CBS claims an unnamed ABC suit told people to try to hire as many former “BB” staffers as possible; the suit names two top “Glass House” producers who worked on “BB,” and a current vice president of alternative programming at ABC who is a former supervising producer on “BB.”
“Glass House” has replicated every key aspect of “Big Brother,” CBS claims in its suit, including plot, themes, mood, setting, pace, characters, sequence of events, and other “concrete elements.” The two shows are “virtually identical,” CBS continued, noting both involve approximately 14 contestants living in a large house, isolated from the outside world, who are filmed continuously, etc.
ABC, in a statement issued Thursday, dismissed the suit, saying “The differences between ‘Glass House’ and ‘Big Brother’ are both fundamental and obvious.”