Glass House vs. Big Brother: CBS, ABC disagree about whether lawsuit is over

The presidents of CBS and ABC disagree about whether or not the Big Brother versus The Glass House lawsuit is over. ABC thinks it is; CBS, who sued ABC, said it is not.

ABC entertainment president Paul Lee told TV critics on Friday that their experiment with the series “was totally worth it” and added, “we were right in the lawsuit, and that lawsuit is over.” He added that their attempt to create a show influenced by social media “was a good swing, and we are going to continue to do them.”

I later asked him for clarification, since it sounded like he could mean that the show would definitely return, and he said that no decision has been made but it’s possible the show might be renewed.

Sunday, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler, who laughed when a critic said that CBS did their best to help publicize The Glass House, said the opposite: “it’s still ongoing so I really can’t discuss it right now. But the message that needs to be communicated is that we’re incredibly protective of our brands and the creative infrastructure of the shows themselves.”

Yes, she used the word “creative” when referring to Big Brother.

By the way, while ratings for the show are way down, Tassler did point out that “on social media our social media tweets were up about a thousand percent” and said “it’s been a very active summer in terms of chatter and conversation.” She also pointed out that a “there’s a promo clip that you’re going to see on Big Brother where Ashley and Ian are being tied to the Sheldon and Penny of reality television. That was generated by a tweet that came from one of our fans.” (That has already aired, incidentally.)

In other words, the hashtag mania/borrowing heavily from Glass House is working well, even if this season isn’t.

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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.