ABC calls Big Brother “stale” as CBS demands everything about Glass House

CBS is demanding to see everything ABC has about its new series The Glass House, and judging by the way the new ABC series has improved after 23 hours, it’s not hard to imagine that CBS is getting very nervous as both shows, including its aging Big Brother, get closer to debuting.

Today’s hour of live streaming proved that Glass House is serious about being interactive: not just because of the poll questions, but because the narrator–who is letting us name her!–changed her language and called us “viewers” instead of “fans,” after there was some reaction to the use of that term to describe people who were getting their first look at the show yesterday.

After watching the second day of live streaming, improved with questions asked of individual cast members plus a game directed by viewers, ABC seems dead-on when it said in a filing that the lawsuit “is about a television network with a stale franchise — Big Brother — that hopes aggressive litigation tactics will disrupt the premiere of a major competitor’s new, state-of-the-art reality show.”

That was in response to CBS’ ridiculous request for “series bibles, episode outlines, dailies, story-training manuals, master control room manuals, competition pitches, competition outlines, format pitches, format outlines, blueprints, renderings, plans, drawings, design specifications, and on and on,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, which notes CBS has already received “The Glass House Player Handbook, plans for three approved contestant challenges, a detailed floor plan including the location of cameras, the episode structure of the show, schematics of the master control room, and a list of video equipment and media management software on the show.”

CBS also want to see episodes of the show “regardless of whether the episode is in a pre-broadcast version that is not final,” according to a court filing. If the request is granted, I wonder if CBS is prevented from using ABC’s material to improve their own show.

The Glass House has one more hour of live streaming tomorrow; then, the cast will spend this weekend, and every weekend, sequestered in a hotel. That seems odd considering how shows like to keep their contestants locked down in the world that producers have created, but it also has potential to keep things interesting and different: time away from each other and the constant surveillance will change the dynamic, hopefully for the better.

Update: Reuters reports that “U.S. District Judge Gary Feess has scheduled a Friday morning hearing in Los Angeles to consider CBS’ bid for a temporary restraining order to block airing the ABC show.”

So, it’s likely that, on Friday, we’ll know the fate of Monday’s episode.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.