CBS Warns ABC Not to Air 'The Glass House' Claiming It Is Too Similar to 'Big Brother'

Categories: ABC TV ratings,CBS TV ratings,TV Business

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May 4th, 2012


TVByTheNumbers readers were not the only ones who noticed a similarity between ABC's upcoming summer reality series The Glass House and CBS's long-running Big Brother. Lawyers for CBS sent a letter to ABC President Anne Sweeney warning that if ABC proceeds with the show, the network will be "acting at their own peril" and that if ABC airs The Glass House, CBS will "pursue all available remedies."

CBS's lawyers also allege in the letter that numerous former producers of Big Brother have been hired to work on The Glass House in violation of the Non Disclosure Agreements they signed with CBS. The entire letter can be found here.

How long before NBC sends FOX a similar strongly worded missive about it's upcoming dating show The Choice, which overtly parodies the hit music competition, The Voice?

  • Kevin

    This seems dumb. As much as I hate reality show and wish they would be banished, ABC has a right to air this. Sorry CBS, but you can’t copyright an idea. Once its out there, its out there.

    So go ahead and act on “your own peril” ABC; CBS won’t succeed in court.

  • Fischer

    FOXs new show is not that similar to The Voice.. For one, The Choice is a dating show, not singing. Unless NBC has a trade marked Spinning Chairs, there’s no reason NBC would sue FOX. (unless for money, cause god knows how much their loosing)

  • Anon

    if CBS is warning ABC about whatever this is…I think NBC should warn FOX about The Choice. The name is just ridiculously similar and … the chairs. Reallly?

  • Harris

    What Kevin said.

  • Evanmav

    I think its funny that ABC last summer aired Expedition Impossible which was basically a copycat of CBS’s The Amazing Race. I’m guessing CBS didn’t care before because amazing race wasn’t going to air at the same time and they prob knew it would fail. But now that the Glass House and Big brother will be airing at the same time CBS must be scared they’ll lose viewers. I dont think cbs really has a case but we’ll see what happens

  • Matt

    Who does CBS think it is? Apple?

  • DryedMangoez

    Where was the strongly worded letter to ABC for poorly ripping off The Amazing Race?

  • Sammo

    I believe parody is covered under the freedom of speech thingy in the Constitution, so I don’t think NBC can do much about Fox.

    However, blatant rip-off is a fair game, so CBS can sues the pants off ABC. Maybe CBS can start a new legal procedural/reality show about them suing ABC, that would be a win-win for CBS.

  • Stella

    Haha, drama.

    But yeah, CBS has a right to sue them if they air it, it is copyright infringement and what not.

  • George

    Didn’t something like this happen w/ABC & Fox w/”Super Nanny” and whatever version of that show show Fox aired?

  • Don

    Reality Shows help put on the Scripted TV you Sitcom/Drama fans love so much Kevin.

  • Mega64

    It seems more similar to the international Big Brother shows, though, and some of those came before the US one.

  • Person of Interest

    im with CBS they can’t copy the show and also if NBC does the same thing im behind NBC 100%

  • JakeSnake

    Frankly I think CBS has every right here. This isn’t just a similar concept, this is complete rip off. I doubt it’ll do as well as Big Brother anyway though because most people will probably realize it’s just a blatant rip off and not care to tune in.

  • John K.

    @George. Nothing with Super Nanny? There were similar shows on ABC (WifeSwap) and FOX (Trading Spouses) but there were not any legal threats made.

  • Ally

    “it’s [sic] upcoming dating show”

  • psychic

    Lol. Why doesn’t NBC warn FOX not to air The Choice?

  • Flame

    Wonder why CBS would sue – I am pretty sure that they contracted Big Brother from Endemol in Holland who invented the show. So it would be Endemol’s take of suing, not CBS’s.

  • will

    Seems ironic considering CBS’ “The Talk” is a complete rip-off of ABC’s “The View”

  • David

    Dear CBS. The creators of “musical chairs” are suing you for ripping off their idea.

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