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CBS accused of ‘stifling reality’

US broadcaster ABC has reportedly hit out at rival CBS for “stifling” the reality competition genre by filing for an emergency injunction to halt an upcoming ABC series.

As previously reported, CBS is suing ABC, parent Disney and Keep Calm & Carry On Productions over The Glass House (aka Life in a Glass House), a new reality series that it claims is a rip-off of CBS’s long-running version of Big Brother.

Yesterday, the Eye network reportedly filed for an injunction to halt the scheduled launch of Glass House on June 18, as it believes ABC could use trade secrets learned from Big Brother. Glass House’s executive producer is former Big Brother producer Kenny Rosen, and up to 28 other staff also worked on the CBS show.

However, ABC issued a reply via US media trades last night, claiming: “This is a naked attempt by CBS to stifle competition and creativity by claiming that reality techniques that have been developed over many years, on many shows by countless producers, are somehow exclusive to CBS.”

ABC is pressing on with the launch and this week announced the 14 contestants that would be living together in Glass House’s purpose-built house under the constant watch of cameras. The format will see them vying for a US$250,000 prize.

ABC claims there are numerous differences between its show and Big Brother, such as the audience having power over what contestants do, wear and even when they sleep.

International production company Endemol originally developed Big Brother but has kept out of the row. A judicial decision on the Glass House case is not expected before June 15.

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