Judge Denies CBS's Temporary Restraining Order On 'The Glass House'
No dice, CBS. "The Glass House" opens for business this Monday.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly this morning, U.S. District Judge Gary A Feess ruled this morning in California that there's enough difference between ABC's soon-debuting competition reality series and CBS's longtime "Big Brother" franchise that the two can coexist. The ruling denies an attempted temporary restraining order by CBS blocking this Monday's ABC debut.
“The audience involvement playing a constant role is very likely to induce quite different behavior than one would see on 'Big Brother',” Feess decided.
When ABC filed a recent complaint against CBS's TRO request, CBS filed a 28-page response that if ABC has a problem with CBS's roadblocks against ABC's programming, then the Disney-owned network should've pondered that before allegedly ripping off CBS's longtime "Big Brother" localization and making the evidence they'd done so disappear.
"The clear theft and use of CBS's material, coupled with the admitted destruction of emails, clearly warrants a [temporary restraining order] at this stage," the reply reads. "And ABC's protestations that injunctive relief would harm their business are of no moment because any harm is of their own making..."
"The Glass House" features a cast of 14 people living together in competition for a $250,000 grand prize, with viewers backing each's choice horse online and via social media platforms with a vote-off format.
Just for the sake of argument, here's the "Big Brother" premise as described by IMDB: "Contestants must compete against each other for a chance to win $500,000 in a house wired with cameras and microphones, capturing their every move for a TV and Internet audience."
ABC representatives claim the network has laid out roughly $16 million promoting the series as a key part of its summer lineup. That being said, the network has argued, there's much to lose if "The Glass House" can't proceed as planned.
Feess cited a "Big Brother"-related Wikipedia page identifying 24 known copies and localizations of the series made to date in arguing that so-called "trade secrets" that ABC supposedly swiped are actually common industry knowledge. Feess went so far as to say “When I first heard of 'Big Brother,' I thought it was 'Survivor' in a house." He added that there's little evidence thus far indicating that one reality show has killed an appetite for others, even copycats.
“I thought after one or two reality shows we would never see others. Audience fascination with these shows is well understood even if some of us can’t understand it," Feess said.