August 17, 2012 11:22am PT by Matthew Belloni
CBS Drops 'Glass House' Lawsuit Against ABC
CBS has dismissed its lawsuit against ABC over the reality show Glass House. The Big Brother network claims its copycat suit is unnecessary because the ABC show is a flop. But the case isn't over: The network said Friday that claims against the show's producers will continue in arbitration.
Here's the CBS statement: "The viewers have spoken and delivered the ultimate form of justice against The Glass House. As a result, we filed in federal court this morning a voluntary dismissal without prejudice of our claims against ABC. The contract and trade secrets claims against former Big Brother producers for violating their confidentiality agreements will continue separately in arbitration. We reserve the right to re-file this claim against ABC/The Glass House, or any other entity, that goes to such shocking lengths to duplicate our copyright material."
The move is the latest twist in a legal saga that began in June, when CBS sued claiming the then-upcoming ABC reality show about strangers living together and competing for a cash prize "stole every aspect of Big Brother's tangible creative expression." CBS also claimed that former Big Brother employees, including Glass House showrunner Kenny Rosen, had violated confidentiality agreements and were using protected trade secrets on the new show.
CBS asked for an emergency restraining order before the show premiered, but on June 15, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Fees denied CBS' attempt to stop Glass House from airing on grounds that the network hadn't demonstrated a likelihood of success and that TV employees are permitted to take their knowledge from one show to the next.
The network then filed an amended lawsuit once the show had aired, adding in details of alleged similarities.
Meanwhile, Glass House premiered to soft ratings and never caught on with audiences. At the same time, however, Big Brother's ratings have been down considerably this summer from 2011 numbers. But a CBS rep told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week that the network doesn't believe Glass House hurt Big Brother.
Now, with the case against ABC dismissed, the litigation will proceed in arbitration against the Big Brother producers.