Monday, May 7, 2012

'Big Brother' Watching People Living in Glass Houses

Fred Allen
Fred Allen
CBS is engaged in saber-rattling with rival network, ABC, threatening litigation over a reality show debuting next month that the folks at Black Rock claim apes one of their popular programs.

CBS, which airs Big Brother, has its Eye, so to speak, on Glass House, which is set to debut next month on ABC. The New York Times reports that CBS sent ABC a lawyer letter complaining that Glass House is "substantially and strikingly" similar to Big Brother. Glass House involves 14 people vying for a cash prize by being the last person standing after spending the summer sharing a home together under the scrutiny of television cameras. Meanwhile, Big Brother, which is set to air its 14th season this summer, involves people living together for three months in a privacy-free zone, cut off from the outside world, but under constant television camera surveillance.  That's entertainment.

In its letter to ABC that hints at litigation, CBS notes that Glass House allegedly employs 18 former Big Brother staffers, according to the Times article.  CBS previously unsuccessfully sued ABC after the latter premiered a reality show entitled I'm a Celebrity--Get Me Out of Here, that CBS alleged infringed on the granddaddy of reality television shows, Survivor.

Radio comic Fred Allen's words: "Imitation is the sincerest form of television," never seemed truer.
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