ABC sued by Japanese broadcaster over Wipeout

ABC’s successful summer reality competition Wipeout has attracted a lawsuit from the Tokyo Broadcasting System, which says the show rips off its series Takeshi’s Castle, the series Spike TV broadcasts as MXC.

The Japanese network claims “that ABC bought search terms such as ‘MXC’ on Google to help drive traffic to the official ‘Wipeout’ page, and that specific obstacles in ‘Wipeout’ were knock-offs of challenges in the Japanese shows,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The paper notes that “a broadcast network suing another broadcaster over a reality series is rare.”

Tokyo Broadcasting System’s complaint says, in part,

“From the moment ABC revealed ‘Wipeout’ to the public, that program has been routinely described as a ‘rip-off’ and ‘knockoff’ of Plaintiff’s shows. ABC’s willful and wrongful use of Plaintiff’s Shows to create ‘Wipeout’ is egregious, inexcusable and not to be tolerated. … ‘Wipeout’ unlawfully appropriates the premise, the format, the sequence of events, the introductory segment, the tone, the scene setups, the narration, the dialogue that arises from constructed situations … of the shows.”

Japanese broadcaster sues ABC over ‘Wipeout’ [Hollywood Reporter]

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.