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ABC hits back in Big Bro rip-off row

US broadcast network ABC has rubbished CBS’s claims the new reality series Life in a Glass House steals from the Eye net’s long-running Big Brother.

Big Brother

Big Brother

CBS had claimed the fact Glass House, which is currently in development, had 19 former Big Brother production crew members working on it meant trade secrets where at risk, and that the show should be shut down.

Earlier this month, CBS filed a lawsuit against ABC, its parent Disney and prodco Keep Calm & Carry On Productions, claiming Glass House was an “obvious attempt” to capitalise on Big Brother’s formula. Big Brother producer Endemol is not in involved in the case.

But ABC has called for judges to throw out the case, in a filing made this week and first reported by entertainment gossip website TMZ.

ABC claimed the idea it could steal trade secrets was “outrageous” because “there is nothing secret about editing a programme with multiple feeds together or developing a narrative structure for it. That is reality TV.”

It also noted Glass House – in which 14 contestants live together in a purpose-built house – was different to Big Brother because it was a team-based format, rather than the Endemol show’s “every man for themselves” theme. There is also no host in Glass House.

ABC has claimed the 19 staff had left the Eye because “it is common knowledge in the industry that low pay and the 24 hours a day, seven days a week filming schedule makes life on the Big Brother set difficult.”

Glass House is set to premiere on the Alphabet net on June 18, unless a federal judge decides otherwise.

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