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CBS And Former ‘Big Brother’ Producers Reach Settlement In ‘Glass House’ Lawsuit

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 11:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC‘s reality series The Glass House is long forgotten following a low-rated run last summer, but the legal battle that it triggered is just now coming to an end. CBS announced this morning that the network has “reached a settlement in arbitration with the parties in The Glass House legal dispute.” CBS in May 2012 sued ABC, claiming that The Glass House was a rip-off of Big Brother while accusing former Big Brother producers who worked for Glass House of violating confidentiality agreements. CBS dropped its case against ABC last August while taking its legal action against the Glass House producers and network executives to arbitration. (The Big Brother alums in question — Glass House EP Kenny Rosen, producer Michael O’Sullivan and ABC VP Alternative Programming Corie Henson — fired back with a countersuit against CBS in November). According to CBS, the network “will receive financial compensation as part of the settlement. The producers have admitted that one of them used confidential Big Brother manuals in the production of The Glass House, and they have expressed regret for using this material. In addition, those involved have pledged not to misappropriate CBS trade secrets in the future.”

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CBS Sued By ABC Executive & ‘Glass House’ Producers

By | Friday November 16, 2012 @ 12:00pm PST

They say people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones but that hasn’t prevented an ABC VP and the producers of the network’s The Glass House from firing back at CBS in the courts. The reality show’s executive producer Kenny Rosen, producer Michael O’Sullivan and ABC’s Vice-President of Alternative Programming Corie Henson have sued (read complaint here) CBS claiming that the network is using the legal “equivalent of war” against them in its arbitration actions. All three of the plaintiffs served in the past as producers on CBS’s Big Brother. In its now-dropped suit against ABC – filed on May 10 - CBS claimed that The Glass House was a blatant rip-off of Big Brother. Glass House floundered in the ratings over the summer and never came close to being a threat to Big Brother with viewers. While CBS let its legal action against ABC go in mid-August after some legal setbacks, it has pursued contract and trade secret claims that the former producers violated their confidentiality agreements. “We believe this is simply an attempt to delay the inevitable arbitration proceeding. We are very confident in our position that there has been a violation of signed, written confidentiality agreements, and we will look forward to a determination of that matter by the arbitration panel,” said CBS in a statement today. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Glass House’ Finale, ‘Bachelor Pad’ & ‘Hotel Hell’ Up, ‘Grimm’ & “Stars Earn Stripes’ Down Big

By | Tuesday August 21, 2012 @ 9:10am PDT

There was a lot of reality and a lot of Ramsey on television Monday night. ABC’s The Glass House (0.9/3) wrapped up its first season with Toledo police officer Kevin Braun the $250,000 winner. Up 29% from last week, the once legally embattled show, which debuted on June 18, has generally floundered in the ratings since the very beginning. Before The Glass House, ABC ran a two-hour Bachelor Pad (1.5/4) at 8 PM. Bachelor Pad also was up from last week, 25% in its case from last week’s series low. With local market pre-emptions of NFL Preseason Football, those ABC numbers could be inflated in fast nationals. Over on Fox it was a double serving of Gordon Ramsey with Hotel Hell (2.0/6) and Hell’s Kitchen (2.5/7). Hell was up a slight 5% from its Monday debut last week, but Kitchen was down 7% from last week’s high-rated episode. Still, despite its slump, Hell’s Kitchen was the highest-rated show in the Adult 18-49 demo and the biggest draw of the night with 6.17 million in total viewers. Overall Fox won the night among Adults 18-49 and in terms of total viewers. NBC had a repeat of America’s Got Talent (1.1/3) at 8 PM, followed by the second week of Stars Earn Stripes (1.1/3). The celebrity competition series fell 35% from its debut last week. Things picked up a bit for NBC with … Read More »

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CBS Goes After ABC’s ‘The Glass House’ Again In Court

By | Thursday August 2, 2012 @ 2:42pm PDT

It isn’t over in the legal battle between CBS and ABC over The Glass House. Despite a number of legal setbacks, CBS is still pursuing its claim that the ABC reality show is a rip-off of its Big Brother. Earlier this week, following a Magistrate Judge’s June 26 denial of a fast discovery process, the network submitted an amended lawsuit (Read it here) in the matter. Similar in many ways to the suit CBS filed on May 10, the 46-page July 30 filing says “consistent with Defendants’ intention to copy Big Brother, Glass House is nearly identical to Big Brother in every way”. Well, not every way. After a judge refused CBS’ request for a temporary restraining order against the new show, The Glass House debuted on June 18 to soft ratings and has continued to stay pretty low ever since. Big Brother, on the other hand, returned for a 14th season on July 12 and, while down from last year, has had strong ratings. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Bachelorette’ Hits Low, ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Up Big, ‘Fear Factor’ & ‘MasterChef’ Rise

By | Tuesday July 17, 2012 @ 9:06am PDT

Bachelorette RatingsThe Bachelorette (2.2/6) had its tell-all episode last night with the guys who didn’t make Emily Maynard’s cut. The show was down 12% from last week and tied a season low (with the exception of specials). Still, last night’s episode – the last before July 22’s finale — was Monday’s most-watched show with more than 7 million viewers. Meanwhile, the fifth week of The Glass House (1.0/3) was flat with last week and tied a season low. ABC won the night in viewers and Fox won in adults 18-49. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Glass House’ Up, ‘Bachelorette’ ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Flat, ‘Fear Factor’ ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Hit Low

By | Tuesday July 10, 2012 @ 9:13am PDT

ABC’s The Bachelorette (2.5/7) pared down to the final two hopeful guys as it heads towards its July 22 season finale. However that didn’t help the shw pick up traction, as it was flat with last week. The fourth week of The Glass House (1.1/3), on the other hand, was up 10% from last week’s show — though that was helped by a four-minute overrun into the 10 PM slot from Bachelorette. On Fox, Hell’s Kitchen (2.4/8) was flat with last week, and MasterChef (2.4/7), down to the final nine contestants, was up 4% from last week. ABC won the night in total viewers with 6.45 million, while Fox was tops in adults 18-49.

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CBS Suffers Another ‘Glass House’ Legal Setback

By | Tuesday June 26, 2012 @ 5:21pm PDT

CBS was today denied their request for a fast discovery process in the network’s lawsuit against ABC’s Glass House. This comes less than a week after a District Court judge in the case (read it here) refused CBS’ request for a temporary restraining order to stop production and broadcasting of Glass House, which debuted on June 18 as planned. “In view of the District Court’s ruling, there is no basis for expedited discovery,” ruled Magistrate Judge John McDermott today. On May 10, CBS sued ABC and various Glass House producers claiming their new show was a ripoff of the network’s Big Brother. McDermott’s four page order (Read it here) takes a lot of the urgency out of CBS’s case. In fact, the judge noted that if the dueling networks can’t work out some of the discovery process themselves, CBS can present a new motion after an upcoming scheduling conference. As the discovery aspect of the case moved forward and backward, CBS file a request for a TRO on June 7 to stop Glass House. Judge Gary Feess said at a June 15 hearing with both network’s lawyer that he was inclined to deny the request. “CBS has not convinced me that they will succeed in their copyright claims,” he said. “CBS seeks to protect the idea of a show of contestants in a house where cameras are running…you can’t copyright that…. I don’t … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Glass House’ Way Down, ‘Bachelorette’ Ties Season Low

By | Tuesday June 26, 2012 @ 9:12am PDT

Glass House RatingsThe cracks are starting to show in The Glass House (1.2/3). The second week of ABC’s legally contested reality show was down 20% from its June 18 debut, which scored a 1.6/4. Opening ABC’s night at 8 PM, The Bachelorette (2.2/7) hit Prague but stumbled, down 4% from last week. That ties a series low for the search-for-love series.

Laying more groundwork for its Olympics coverage from London this summer, NBC had the U.S. Olympic Trials: Swimming (1.9/6) live from 8-9 PM. The network’s America’s Got Talent (3.0/8) rose 3% from last week, making it the No. 1 show Monday among adults 18-49 and total viewers with an audience of 10.41 million. NBC’s American Ninja Warrior (2.0/5) was flat with last week and tied — except for specials — its season low. Read More »

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CBS’ ‘Glass House’ Restraining Order Request Officially Denied

By | Friday June 22, 2012 @ 9:51am PDT

UPDATE: ABC and CBS issued statements in response to the judge’s decision not to grant CBS a temporary restraining order against ABC and its Big Brother-esque new reality series The Glass House.

ABC: We’re pleased the Court agreed with ABC’s arguments that The Glass House is a very different show and people working in the reality television industry should not be prevented from bringing their skills to a new employer. We are thrilled viewers will now get a chance to continue to enjoy and participate in ABC’s The Glass House.

CBS: This is only one preliminary step in a long road; we will now aggressively move two steps forward.

We intend to proceed with our claims against Disney/ABC for copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  At the same time, we will move forward with our individual claims for liability and liquidated damages against any current “Glass House” producer who violated their “Big Brother” confidentiality agreement.

The Court was very clear that its Order was without prejudice to any future proceedings and CBS looks forward to the evidence that further discovery will reveal, particularly from the estimated 30 former “Big Brother” producers/staff now employed by “Glass House.”

PREVIOUS: It’s official: A judge today refused CBS’ request for a temporary restraining order against ABC’s The Glass House. The reality show debuted Monday as planned — to soft ratings. In his ruling (Read it here) Judge Gary Feess wrote today that the court “has concluded that, while it cannot say that CBS will not prevail at trial, it has concluded that success on the merits is unlikely.  The evidence before the Court indicates that, under the substantial similarity test, CBS is not likely to prove that Glass House has misappropriated protectable elements of Big Brother.” CBS sued ABC on May 10 claiming it’s a blatant rip-off of its Big Brother and infringes on the CBS show copyright. ABC, which claims it has spent about $16 million promoting Glass House’s debt, has said the CBS suit has “no merit.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Glass House’ Soft In Debut; ‘Talent’, ‘Kitchen’, ‘MasterChef’ Down

By | Tuesday June 19, 2012 @ 9:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Glass House RatingsJust like CBS’ failed 2003 attempt to block ABC’s short-lived Survivor-esque I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, CBS’ unsuccessful legal challenge to ABC’s Big Brother-like The Glass House may have been much ado about nothing. Despite extra publicity from the legal tussle, the new ABC reality series opened modestly last night with a 1.6/4 among adults 18-49 at 10 PM, following The Bachelorette (2.3/7, flat with last week). Compared with last summer’s debut of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition in the same time period, Glass House was down 33%, and it may be adjusted further down in the finals as its fast nationals include a Bachelorette overrun. Read More »

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More Battling: ABC Rejects “Overbroad” CBS ‘Glass House’ Document Request

By | Saturday June 16, 2012 @ 1:35am PDT

In another turn in the Glass House case, ABC late Friday opposed as “overbroad” a CBS request for the network and the new reality show’s employees’ correspondence. On May 10 CBS sued ABC, Keep Calm Productions and various former Big Brother producers claiming that The Glass House is a rip-off of their Big Brother. Earlier this week, as the two networks battled over a proposed temporary restraining order on The Glass House’s June 18 debut, CBS said that it wants to see all documents in the preparation and production of the ABC show, including emails, texts, social media, design plans, show manuals and episode outlines. ABC, who under CBS’ proposal would have only 48 hours after the judge’s ruling to hand over the material, late Friday dismissed the request. “CBS appears to be wielding this litigation, and this overbroad discovery, as a weapon in an effort to thwart ABC from launching a successful competing show, and to prevent its former employees from taking the job of their choice,” ABC said. ABC claims that CBS’s latest discovery requests would scoop up correspondence unrelated to the case such as “if two story editors from The Glass House who never worked on Big Brother exchange emails about whether to include a fight between Joy and Alex in next Monday’s episode of The Glass House.”

The discovery matter ABC filed late Friday with magistrate Judge John McDermott came as Read More »

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UPDATE: CBS Sues ABC Over Reality Show ‘Glass House’, ABC Dismisses Accusations

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 3:05pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

2ND UPDATE 4PM: ABC has issued the following statement in response of CBS’ filing: “We believe there is no merit to this lawsuit. The differences between Glass House and Big Brother are both fundamental and obvious, ranging from Glass House’s interactive elements and audience participation to its deployment of cutting edge technologies.

UPDATE, 3:05 PM: CBS claims in the lawsuit (read it here) that The Glass House employs “at least 19″ former producers and staff from Big Brother, and details them all by name in today’s filing. CBS is suing for copyright infringement, trade-secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and conspiracy among other claims, calling Glass House “a carbon copy” of its Big Brother. As for dollar amounts, the network is asking for $500,000 “for each of the Individual Defendants’ acts in violation of the non-disclosure agreements” — with multiple clauses, those totals add up fast — in addition to other damages and legal fees. “CBS therefore brings this action to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and restitution, and to recover compensatory and punitive damages.”

PREVIOUS, 1:45 PM:
A week after CBS fired a warning shot with a letter to ABC threatening to take legal action if the network proceeds with its recently announced summer reality series The Glass House, the eye network today filed a lawsuit against the Disney-owned broadcast networks. I haven’t seen the filing yet, but last week’s letter noted that Glass Read More »

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ABC Orders ‘Big Brother’-Style Competition Reality Series For Summer

By | Monday April 30, 2012 @ 2:13pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC The Glass HouseABC has picked up The Glass House, a competition reality series in the vein of Big Brother. It is set to premiere June 18 and is executive produced by former Big Brother producer Kenny Rosen. Described as an interactive real-life and real-time reality competition, Glass House features 14 contestants living and competing for a quarter million dollars in a wired, state-of-the-art house, playing against each other as well as for the viewers’ online votes that will help determine which contestants are sent home and also which eliminated players will earn the chance to return.

Also like Big Brother, Glass House will have an online component as several times a week viewers can watch a live online feed of the players. In this case, the audience can vote and decide everything from what players wear and eat to the games they play, even where they sleep. Viewers will also have the chance to give their favorite contestants feedback on their game from outside the house.

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