Big Brother 14 may not even be on the air yet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of Big Brother drama happening out there to enjoy! Neither show has premiered yet this season, but the nasty catfight between Big Brother on CBS and rival show The Glass House on ABC is on fire.
First we had the announcement that ABC would soon be launching a new reality TV show called The Glass House, which some thought from the descriptions sounded a little bit too much like Big Brother on CBS. Plus, it turned out ABC had hired no less than 19 former Big Brother employees to work on The Glass House.
To add insult to injury, The Glass House is scheduled to launch this summer on June 18th and most of the season will run consecutively with Big Brother 14 this season. That kind of puts the two shows almost in direct competition with each other.
Well, CBS apparently was not having any of that and started sending cease and desist letters to ABC telling them to put a stop to what they said was a Big Brother ripoff show. Despite differences in the two shows such as a more robust socially interactive component in The Glass House, CBS claimed the show was nothing more than an overblown copy of Big Brother.
When letters from their lawyers failed to garner any response from ABC, CBS then took the next step and filed a lawsuit against ABC. The lawsuit claims The Glass House violates Big Brother copyrights and is being produced with trade secrets spilled by those former Big Brother employees now working for ABC.
ABC is now slamming back at CBS over the lawsuit, calling it completely “outrageous” to accuse them of stealing trade secrets to produce The Glass House. ABC has reportedly asked a judge to throw out the Big Brother lawsuit, claiming it is “over-the-top” and ridiculous, according to TMZ.com. The network wants a judge to shut down CBS cold so it can get on with production on The Glass House without any further obstacles.
In their response to the CBS Big Brother lawsuit, ABC says there is “nothing secret about editing a program with multiple feeds together or developing a narrative structure for it. That is reality TV.” The network also says that there is nothing special about isolating contestants in a house, doing contests and filming it all 24 hours with hidden cameras.
ABC also claims in their response to the CBS lawsuit that there are major differences between The Glass House and Big Brother 14. In particular, The Glass House contains a more robust socially interactive component and the game play is team-oriented, rather than a “every man for himself theme.”
As far as all those former Big Brother employees, ABC says the real reason the 19 former BB staffers came to work for them is because the working conditions at CBS were abysmal. ABC says it is “common knowledge in the industry that low pay and the 24 hours a day/7 days a week filming schedule makes life on the Big Brother set difficult.” According to ABC, “That employees prefer a different show with benefits and better hours is hardly evidence of a trade secret violation.”
If anything, The Glass House will now probably get more viewers than it would have before thanks to all the media attention and the desire of Big Brother fans to see if it really is a knock-off.