A few weeks back, we wrote about a silly lawsuit from CBS, arguing that it could basically hold the copyright on some of the most basic concepts in reality TV. CBS was suing
ABC, because ABC was about to put on Glass House
, which was similar to CBS's Big Brother
. Of course, this is the nature of TV and most people deal with it. You can't copyright an idea
(or so we're told) but that doesn't seem to stop big companies from pretending otherwise. Here, at least, the judge wasn't convinced. He refused to issue an injunction
blocking the showing of Glass House
, and noted that it certainly looked like the ideas were different:
"I think is very likely to induce quite different behavior than one would expect to see in the 'Big Brother' show."
CBS had put out a statement saying that it would keep fighting the lawsuit, but apparently it decided on another way to fight this as well: by snarky press release. In something that honestly reads like it was meant for April Fool's Day (and caused many people to wonder if CBS's system had been hacked), the company put out a mocking and sarcastic press release
supposedly announcing a "groundbreaking and completely original new reality program" called Dancing on the Stars
. Here's the full press release:
CBS ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF “DANCING ON THE STARS,” AN EXCITING AND COMPLETELY ORIGINAL REALITY PROGRAM THAT OWES ITS CONCEPT AND EXECUTION TO NOBODY AT ALL
Los Angeles, June 20, 2012 – Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS Television today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, groundbreaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network.
The dazzling new show, DANCING ON THE STARS, will be broadcast live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.
The cemetery, the first in Hollywood, was founded in 1899 and now houses the remains of Andrew “Fatty” Arbuckle, producer Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Paul Muni, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, George Harrison of the Beatles and Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones, among many other great stars of stage, screen and the music business. The company noted that permission to broadcast from the location is pending, and that if efforts in that regard are unsuccessful, approaches will be made to Westwood Village Memorial Park, where equally scintillating luminaries are interred.
“This very creative enterprise will bring a new sense of energy and fun that’s totally unlike anything anywhere else, honest,” said a CBS spokesperson, who also revealed that the Company has been working with a secret team for several months on the creation of the series, which was completely developed by the people at CBS independent of any other programming on the air. “Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with this title or our upcoming half-hour comedy for primetime, POSTMODERN FAMILY.”
“After all,” the spokesperson added, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
Yeah, that last sentence might push this one a bit far over the top, don't you think? This is the kind of response that people have and joke about internally
. They don't release it to the world. I will grant you that it's amusing, but it also seems pretty petulant for a company having lost the basic argument in its lawsuit. If it really is going to fight on with this lawsuit, perhaps so publicly mocking the judge who ruled against you isn't such a good idea.