Producer sues former agent over Work Out, claiming show was his idea

A producer has sued his former agent, claiming that she stole the idea for Bravo’s Work Out from him. In late December, David Russo filed suite “for $5 million, claiming … that Amy Shpall, a former UTA agent who is an executive producer on ‘Work Out,’ was privy to his concept for a reality show called ‘The Gym’ and worked with him to develop the show,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He “claims that in 2004 he shared several drafts of his treatments for ‘The Gym’ and his ideas to create a brand name and platform to merchandise health and fitness products with Shpall,” who “was either ‘fired or asked to leave’ UTA in 2004″ and eventually landed at Mentorn USA, when “he lost touch with her and never knew why until he learned about ‘Work Out,'” according to the paper.

Russo also sued Work Out executive producer Bruce Toms, producer Mentorn USA, the UTA agency, and NBC Universal. Ironically, David Russo most recently executive produced a reality show for NBC Universal cable network Bravo, the trainwreck known as Hey Paula.

Producer sues ex-agent over ‘Work’ [Hollywood Reporter]

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about the writer

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, 36, 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.