The escalating war between ABC and CBS over their respective fame-seeking-narcissists-live-in-totally-wired-house series now threatens to also consume both networks’ date-to-mate reality series.
In the latest development, CBS has been compelled to move the unveiling of its new dating series “3” to Sunday, July 29, after learning of ABC’s plan to attack “3’s” originally scheduled Sunday, July 22 launch by moving its season finale of “The Bachelorette” to the night.
Not only does ABC intend to move “The Bachelorette” finale to Sunday night from its usual Monday berth, it plans to follow that broadcast with its first-ever live “After the Final Rose” post-finale special at 10.
Back in February, CBS announced it had ordered a new dating reality series called “3” that’s kind of like “The Bachelorette” — except, on this one, three chicks will simultaneously kick the tires on the same three eligible guys, to see which they’d like to select as their made-for-true love.
And, on CBS’s show, based on a wildly successful Israeli format, a guy may turn down the advances of one of the chicks if he’d like to hold out for, you know – the cuter one. This does so much to restore the natural order of things, and made this series far more realistic than the Disney fairytale that is ABC’s demographic hit “The Bachelorette.”
On the producer’s web site, in a snippet of the Israeli version, one of the chicks goes out on several dates with her guy of choice, until he suddenly announces, “It’s not working. It’s not working. You can’t force it.”
“So — you say it’s not working?” the woman responds, seeking clarification.
“No,” the guy explains again, while gallantly resisting what had to have been a strong urge to hit her over the head with a brick.
This thing had monster hit written all over it.
Until ABC began scheming to assassinate it.
Two months after CBS announced its “3” pick-up, ABC announced it had picked up a “Big Brother”-esque ‘The Glass House,” in which 14 narcissists shack up in a totally wired house, their every move controlled by viewers, while competing to win a quarter of a million dollars.
CBS cried foul and sued ABC, claiming the show is in violation of its “Big Brother” copyright. In its suit, CBS noted “The Glass House” employs many former “Big Brothers” staffers who, CBS claimed, had disclosed trade a secrets and violated the non-disclosure agreement they had signed while working on “BB.”
In June, in advance of its broadcast-network premiere, ABC debuted a live stream of “The Glass House,” um, house, so the world could see the show is not so much a “Big Brother” knockoff as a “Big Brother” parody.
Unmoved, CBS filed a request for a temporary restraining order to halt the ABC show’s production and squash its June 18 launch date. ABC fired back that it had already spent $16 million marketing the show’s launch, adding that a temporary restraining order would “seriously undermine the show’s potential success.”
And by “potential success,” turns out, ABC meant just 4 million viewers — the number of people who caught the premiere in mid-June. Because CBS lost its legal battle to stop the launch of “GH.”
That 4 million who watched the premiere was about 1 million fewer viewers than the “Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” reruns that CBS had cleverly slipped into the “Glass House” timeslot in the dark of night, replacing the “Hawaii Five-O” repeat that had been scheduled.
While ABC licked its wounds from that skirmish, CBS launched an aggressive propaganda campaign, issuing a gag announcement saying it had just ordered a reality series called “Dancing on the Stars,” in which D-listers would dance for big prizes on the graves of dead Hollywood luminaries.
The Reporters Who Cover Television declared CBS the victor:
“Outstanding Achievement in Fake Press Releases: CBS announces ‘Dancing on the Stars’,” announced Web site Hitfix, adding, “The network lost the legal battle over ABC’s ‘Glass House,’ but it won the comedy war.”
Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly marveled, “Check this out — hey, it’s CBS showing a sense of humor (kinda!).”
This past Monday, ABC responded with Operation Take Down “3” which that network put into place on one of the industry’s Take out the Trash Days that fall right before a national holiday and people presumably aren’t paying attention.
But CBS suits did notice, and on this week’s second Take out the Trash Day — what with July 4 falling on a Wednesday and all — and made its counter move.