Lawyers for CBS are sending legal notice to ABC that they aren’t at all pleased about a proposed new project called THE GLASS HOUSE. It turns out the show is surprisingly similar to BIG BROTHER, and ABC has even hired 18 former staffers from the CBS show to help to develop the claimed ripoff version of the CBS show.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that ABC has developed some show that was a supposed ripoff of another show. It was last year that ABC had to work out some sort of a confidential legal settlement with the Tokyo Broadcasting Network after ABC started to air WIPEOUT. The Japanese broadcaster claimed that the ABC show was merely a ripoff of three of their popular game shows.

But ripoffs of other TV shows are hardly a new phenomenon. The long running comedy, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, over at CBS has some of the important elements that made FRIENDS over at NBC a hit for so many years, yet has enough unique elements such as the outrageous over-sexed and perpetually horny Barney character to give the show it’s own identity. At some distant date in the future when the show will end, you just know that two of the players in the series will meet and marry, completing this life story supposedly told at the point of view of one character. Until then, this is a great weekly series and evolving story that holds a strong following both in first run episodes as well as syndication.

NBC wanted to share a little of the same success of AMERICAN IDOL over at FOX, so they developed THE VOICE, which is doing very for the network. The show manages to copy enough successful elements of AMERICAN IDOL to be the only top 20 NBC show on the network. NBC was able to shore up weak Monday night ratings with the series which airs on Monday and Tuesday, while AMERICAN IDOL airs on Wednesday and Thursday, probably giving viewers who like singing competition shows the opportunity to follow both shows and cross audience appeal that probably actually benefits both networks and shows.

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