Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

'The Glass House' Lawsuit: CBS Says Rips Off 'Big Brother'

By Andrew Lu on June 12, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The premiere of ABC's summer time reality show "The Glass House" is scheduled for June 18.

But that debut could be in jeopardy as "Big Brother" network CBS is seeking to prevent the ABC show from ever airing. That's because CBS says the ABC show essentially ripped off their idea.

In its Glass House lawsuit, CBS asked a judge to block the new show from airing because it allegedly copied key elements from CBS' Big Brother, The Associate Press report.

Oh, and there is also the fact that "The Glass House" employs dozens of former Big Brother staffers.

Federal judge Gary Feess agreed last week to hear the case on an expedited basis, though no court date has been set. June 18 is less than a week away, so they better hurry up.

For its part, ABC argued that there are key differences between The Glass House and Big Brother and so the show's premiere should not be blocked.

CBS is essentially making a claim based on trade secret infringement in the Glass House lawsuit. The Big Brother network says that it created a successful formula with its long-running Big Brother series, and now all of a sudden ABC hired CBS' former employees and developed its own competitive show.

However, a defense to trade secret infringement is to show that there is no secret at all. And that's exactly what ABC is arguing.

ABC attorneys claim that there is nothing unique with Big Brother as the competition, betrayal, voting, and diverse case are all standard reality television fare, reports the AP. Additionally, there are key differences as many of the contestants' decisions will be decided by audience members.

ABC attorneys quipped that reality TV is all about "trust, betrayal, ambition, disappointment, bonding, competitiveness, and affection," ... all things borrowed from Shakespeare, making the Glass House lawsuit by CBS seem ridiculous.

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard