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Is Glass House a Blatant Rip-Off?

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I want to preface this article by stating that I do not care for most reality shows. However, what I do care about is when any type of creative project is threatened by questionable legal motions. From Deadline:

CBS is getting its day in court to get a temporary restraining order that would stop the June 18 premiere of ABC’s Glass House.

You may be asking what Glass House is and a simple answer is its random people being thrown into a house. So why is CBS sueing ABC over a show with such a trite and boring set-up?

The two networks have engaged in a series of legal shots since CBS sued ABC over Glass House on May 10. CBS says Glass House is a blatant rip-off of its Big Brother, a claim ABC rejects.

CBS is mad that their show about random people living together is being "stolen" from a network competitor. The problem with this argument is that there are many shows similar to Big Brother that existed both before and after its existance. What about OG reality show Real World? This started in the early 90s and besides the idea of having a winner they are pretty similar shows. Attractive people, check. Confessionals, check. Missions, Real World has these they are the stupid jobs they get so check. Again, there is almost no difference.

However, there is still a difference which is the idea that there is a winner. The shows are not identical enough to warrant a lawsuit from Real World which is why you never saw anything of the sort. There are also many other shows that mimic The Real World, including Surreal Life, Bad Girls Club, and countless others. However, those shows never got sued either, because while they are greatly similar, they are not the same thing.

Glass House is very similar to Big Brother, but there is a notable distinction between the two shows. Glass House has a heavily promoted element where people can tell the players what to do. This is more than just voting who goes home, but also what they wear, where they sleep and what they eat. This is very different from Big Brother because this will allow the viewer to create interactions that aren't possible in Big Brother.

Despite all of this, CBS was granted a restraining order 2 days before the show is to air. If CBS wins the motion, the show will be halted and millions will be lost by ABC. These shows are not identical enough for this case to have legs and should have already been thrown out, but Judge Feess showed no balls and could create a dangerous precedent. Seriously, this is like if you had NBC sued HBO because Homicide and The Wire are both police dramas set in Baltimore (Yes I know both shows are made by the same creator, but Homicide is owned by a different production company so its an apt example.

Again, I think these shows are stupid. Reality shows of this ilk create perceptions that the matter at which these people act is the social norm when really everything "real" has been heightened using editing tricks. As much as I hate these shows though, CBS is in the wrong.