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Wife Swap sues FOX’s Trading Spouses.

Wife Swap sues FOX’s Trading Spouses.
Producers of ABC’s and the UK’s Wife Swap have finally sued FOX for its knock-off series Trading Spouses. RDF Media says FOX’s version is a “blatant and wholesale copycat.” The creator of the series, Stephen Lambert, told the New York Times that “this is the most clear-cut case of copyright theft in the history of the reality genre.” But as the newspaper notes, “previous litigation in the field left considerable doubt that any successful judgment could be reached against a network that produced a show similar to an existing one, as long as some elements had been changed.” And “[m]any network executives and producers in the reality genre have said they had given up hope of ever being able to protect original ideas.” FOX, of course, had no comment on the lawsuit.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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