* CBS calls ABC's "Glass House" copy of "Big Brother"
* ABC reality show scheduled to begin airing June 18
* Hearing to weigh halt to ABC show set for June 15
By Jonathan Stempel
June 13 A federal judge will consider on Friday
whether CBS can block the scheduled June 18 premiere of the new
ABC reality TV series "The Glass House," which it claims is too
similar to its long-running summer series "Big Brother."
CBS had sued ABC last month, claiming that the new show
mimics several elements of "Big Brother," and even employs 19
former producers and staff from that show.
"The Glass House" would feature contestants filmed
continuously as they live in a large house.
ABC has said a key difference from "Big Brother" is that
viewers would help decide some of the contestants' decisions, as
well as which contestants leave the house, making its show more
like "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars."
U.S. District Judge Gary Feess has scheduled a Friday
morning hearing in Los Angeles to consider CBS' bid for a
temporary restraining order to block airing the ABC show.
ABC has in court papers said it has spent $16 million
promoting the premiere, and that a delay could put 145 people
working on the show out of jobs.
In a Wednesday court filing, CBS said it has already
uncovered "evidence of rampant theft," and asked ABC to quickly
produce a variety of materials that are relevant to the case.
ABC called the request "an ill-disguised fishing expedition"
that would be a "major distraction" to workers on its show,
which is expected to shoot 24 hours a day, five days a week.
The lawsuit had been filed by CBS Broadcasting Inc, a unit
of CBS Corp, against ABC, its parent Walt Disney Co
and several individual producers and staff.
The case is CBS Broadcasting Inc v. American Broadcasting
Cos et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California,