Mark Burnett and CBS sued for $2 million+ over Rock Star: INXS idea

Mark Burnett and CBS are being sued over the concept for their reality series Rock Star: INXS.

Sharlene Sullivan claims that in 2002, she registered a show synopsis called ‘Rock Star’ with the Writers Guild of America, in which ‘lead vocalists for rock bands would compete and would be judged by well known musicians/rock stars,'” TMZ reports, quoting from the lawsuit [PDF].

She “claims she shared the idea with several industry people connected with both Mark Burnett and the rock band INXS.” While there was “initial interest from those parties,” according to TMZ, her lawsuit says people instructed her to “abandon the project” to “write an unrelated treatment regarding transvestites” instead.

Sullivan wants damages “in excess of $2,000,000.00.” Her story contradicts an earlier story that INXS approached Mark Burnett about creating a reality show to find a new lead singer.

Mark Burnett Sued — You’re No Rock Star [TMZ]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.