If you thought CBS would take a step back and leave ABC to their wits in airing The Glass House, well you thought wrong. ABC announced the cast of their inaugural season yesterday and CBS is STILL trying to put a stop to this show. Touted as a Big Brother rip-off, CBS has left threatening letters for ABC, while ABC has not stayed quiet and fired back. Less than 2 weeks before The Glass House is set to premiere, CBS has taken the aggressive route in putting an end to these shenanigans.
As we previously reported, CBS is suing ABC, arguing that the show violates trade secrets and threatens to leak production secrets, as at least 19 former Big Brother employees now work under the ABC show. ABC is vehemently denying the claims, stating that Glass House is not a rip-off and is far from the CBS summer hit. On May 31, CBS filed a motion to expedite the court’s process in preparation for a preliminary injunction. In turn, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, ABC has fired its own complaint.
Per reports, a hearing took place on Friday where ABC was demanded to turn in a number of up-to-date documents outlining their plans for the upcoming season of Glass House. According to legal papers, Kenny Rosen, Glass House producer and former Big Brother producer, was deposed for 7 hours on Sunday. During the deposition, he was grilled about Glass House and whether any Big Brother trade secrets were used in the upcoming ABC production. As CBS struggles to find out what Glass House really is (join the club), it’s been difficult for their lawyers to effectively put an end to this competing program.
Late Monday, CBS filed papers proposing an expedited schedule for the court to gather more papers from Glass House production. U.S. Discrict Court Judge Gary Fees is ironically the third judge to preside over this case, as the previous two have recused their responsibility.
According to THR, the proposed schedule argues that “CBS undeniably has an interest in stopping the irreparable harm caused by Defendants’ ongoing misappropriation of trade secrets, infringement of Big Brother’s copyright, and other unlawful activity (including spoilaiton of evidence)…For these reasons, CBS intends to seek a TRO [temporary restraining order] preventing the ongoing production and imminent airing of Glass House on June 18.”
ABC has already fired back claiming that CBS’s claims are preposterous. “…it is misleading—and frankly irrelevant to the legal claims—that Mr. Rosen said he hired more than twenty people with prior experience on Big Brother…What CBS does not tell this Court is that Mr. Rosen also testified that the vast majority of these people worked with Mr. Rosen more recently on a different reality show, Hell’s Kitchen, that has nothing to do with Big Brother. It is true that Mr. Rosen hires people with whom he has experience working on reality shows; there is nothing improper about that.” The argument stresses that “It is preposterous for CBS to argue that a one-page outdated master control room schedule from an old season of Big Brother is a trade secret.”
Now, please allow this writer a moment to editorially comment regarding the story above. This back and forth battle is becoming a little bit ridiculous. Glass House, while arguably a Big Brother knockoff, is not the first show to be spun into creation inspired by a rival network’s show. Why is NBC not firing at Fox for their upcoming dating mockery, The Choice, which clearly mimics The Voice’s format to a “T”? Would CBS be working this hard if there weren’t so many former producers working on ABC’s new show? Does this determination hint at some underlying work environment issue with Big Brother than just merely exposing “trade secrets?”
At this point, CBS needs to give it a rest. Glass House will likely air, in its entirety, no matter what. The fans will decide and the ratings will speak for themselves. At this rate, CBS is helping ABC immensely with the free publicity, since Glass House is strategically premiering almost 4 weeks before Big Brother 14. Fans will be able to peek at the hamsters in the house made of glass on Monday from 11pm – 3am EST and on Tuesdays – Thursdays from just 3pm – 4pm EST. ABC will permit LIVE voting starting June 9, while the live streaming will kick off June 11. The show will premiere on the ABC network on Monday June 18 at 10/9c! Big Brother 14 premieres on CBS on Thursday July 12 at 9/8c!