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CBS Settles With 'Glass House' Producers

After dropping a lawsuit against ABC, CBS continued to pursue executives for allegedly stealing "Big Brother" trade secrets to make another reality TV show.

The Glass House EP 101 - H 2012
ABC/NICOLE WILDER
"The Glass House"

CBS has announced that it has settled a dispute with producers of The Glass House, the ABC strangers-living-together reality TV series that was alleged to be a knockoff of Big Brother.

Last year, CBS sued ABC and many of the executives who had worked on the program. After a federal judge denied CBS' attempt to restrain ABC from airing the show, the plaintiff pulled its copyright infringement claim against ABC.

Instead, CBS decided to continue pursuing Glass House executive producer Kenny Rosen, ABC vp alternative programming Corie Henson and Glass House producer Michael O'Sullivan in arbitration.

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On Monday, CBS announced the outcome.

According to a statement, "CBS will receive financial compensation as part of the settlement. The producers have admitted that one of them used confidential Big Brother manuals in the production of The Glass House, and they have expressed regret for using this material. In addition, those involved have pledged not to misappropriate CBS trade secrets in the future."

Rosen formerly was a producer on Big Brother, and CBS accused him of having hired more than 20 people with prior experience on Big Brother and using materials like a Big Brother master control room schedule.

Rosen, Henson and O'Sullivan denied the claims, and in response to the arbitration attempt, they filed a lawsuit against CBS alleging that the network was using the "litigation equivalent of war … as part of its campaign to prevent or, at the very least, disrupt and harass the production of Glass House."

The executives attempted to bar CBS from arbitration on the theory that the network had waived the right to go there by first filing a federal lawsuit against ABC, but in March, a judge gave a green light on arbitration.

Today, the dispute was finally resolved.

Glass House will probably be remembered more for this litigation than anything else. The show suffered poor ratings and was quietly canceled after just one season.

E-mail: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com
Twitter: @eriqgardner