Judge sets hearing on CBS bid to block ABC series

June 13, 2012 - 7:26 PM
Reality TV-Glass House Controversy

This June 2012 photo released by ABC shows a sitting area for "The Glass House," an interactive real-time reality competition, where 14 contestants will live and compete for a quarter million dollars. The series, which relies on audience participation, premieres Monday, June 18, on ABC. CBS is asking a federal judge to block the ABC series because they claim it closely copies “Big Brother” and is using secrets that former staffers gleaned from the longtime reality competition show. A federal judge has set a hearing on CBS’ motion for Friday, June 15 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Nicole Wilder)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge has set a hearing on a motion by CBS to block the premiere of the upcoming ABC reality series "The Glass House" on the basis it copies elements and secrets from the long-running show "Big Brother.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feess scheduled arguments for Friday morning, just days before "Glass House" is scheduled to premiere on Monday night.

CBS wants the show knocked from airwaves because it claims the new series violates "Big Brother" copyrights and several of its former staffers now working with ABC have violated non-disclosure agreements.

Both shows will feature contestants who are constantly filmed, although ABC claims its series greatly emphasizes audience participation and popularity to determine events on the show.

CBS claims Kenny Rosen, a former "Big Brother" producer who's now one of the top producers on "Glass House," has acknowledged that he instructed a staffer to copy an important manual used on the CBS show.

ABC has denied wrongdoing and urged Feess to reject the motion. In a filing earlier this week, it said many of the elements that CBS seeks to protect are common to many reality shows and are not protectable by copyright law. The network has spent $16 million promoting "Glass House" and claims nearly 150 workers would lose their jobs if the court blocks it from airing.