LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys for CBS claim the producer of an upcoming ABC reality series copied materials from his time on "Big Brother" and deleted emails that could have proved important in a case over whether the new show should be allowed to air.
The allegations were included in a filing Thursday that asked a federal judge to block the June 18 premiere of ABC's "The Glass House." CBS claims the series copies heavily from its hit show "Big Brother" and relies on experience and techniques used on that long-running series.
CBS' case focuses heavily on the notion that ABC is relying on the experience of roughly 30 former "Big Brother" staffers now working at "Glass House," including Executive Producer Kenny Rosen.
Rosen acknowledged in a recent deposition that he deleted emails after ABC had been warned by CBS that it would be sued, court documents said. It also alleges that Rosen directed a staffer to copy manuals he obtained while working on "Big Brother."
That would violate a non-disclosure agreement Rosen signed while working with CBS and could be a basis for blocking ABC from airing "Glass House," CBS' attorneys argue.
"It may be rare that a court enjoins a television show from proceeding ... but if ever there were a time to do so, this is it," CBS attorneys wrote in their motion.
Much of Rosen's deposition testimony was redacted from public copies of the filings, but CBS said in a statement that his testimony "further demonstrates the brazen lengths that former 'Big Brother' producers have gone to use confidential material, obtained while under our employment, to develop this new show."
U.S. District Judge Gary Feess denied ABC's request to delay hearing the motion until after "Glass House" premieres, ordering the network's attorneys to respond by late Monday afternoon.