Television

RDF Media sues Fox over reality series ripoff

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/05/02/Fox_0.jpg?itok=9jVMdlF1

MUMBAI: British independent television production company RDF Media has filed a lawsuit against US broadcaster Fox.

The lawsuit has accused Fox Broadcasting and Rocket Science Laboratories of ripping off RDF's original Wife Swap reality television series to create their own competing show, Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.

The suit accuses Fox and Rocket Science, which jointly produce Trading Spouses with both copyright and trade dress infringement, as well as unfair competition. It claims that they attempted to capitalise on the success of RDF's Wife Swap by willfully and illegally developing Trading Spouses-- that incorporated all of the expressive elements and trade dress of Wife Swap.

Versions of Wife Swap have aired on British television since January 2003 and in the US on ABC since September 2004.

RDF programmes director Stephen Lambert who created and served as executive producer on Wife Swap had the following cutting remarks to make. "In our view, this is the most clear-cut case of copyright theft in the history of the reality genre. It has been widely reported that Fox has long pursued a strategy of ripping off other people's intellectual property. RDF intends to take full advantage of the law to put a stop to it."

The lawsuit states that Fox's parent News Corp COO Peter Chernin told Fox executives last year that he had seen the British version of Wife Swap during a visit to London and that "it was the show everyone was talking about in the United Kingdom."

After discovering that ABC had acquired the US rights to the show, the suit alleges that Fox and Rocket Science executives decided to copy its format and trade dress in order to to confuse viewers and mislead them into watching Trading Spouses rather than Wife Swap US.

In both Wife Swap and Trading Spouses two wives with contrasting values and lifestyles exchange spouses and families for a period of seven and ten days. During the first half of the trade, each wife must abide by the rules of the departing wife covering all aspects of household management, from chore delegation to budgeting, from food preparation to child discipline.

During the second half of the trade, each wife imposes her own rules on her new household. At the end of the swap, the two wives meet for the first time and share what they have learned about themselves, their spouses, and each other during the swap.

This is not the first time this year that Fox has been sued over a reality show. Earlier this year Dreamworks and Mark Burnett had sued the Rupert Murdoch owned broadcaster for stealing an idea for a boxing show. DreamWorks and Mark Burnett Productions had claimed ideas from their show, The Contender were stolen by Fox who produced The Next Great Champ. While Burnett lost the suit it didn't matter. Next Great Champ's low ratings and early exit made the suit a non-issue.

Coming back to the RDF suit at the annual meeting of the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles last July, Fox entertainment president Gail Berman acknowledged that Fox had specifically decided to develop a show similar to Wife Swap.

Meanwhile Daily Variety says that RDF is looking for at least $18 million in damages. The Hollywood Reporter has put the figure at $54 million. Unlike most reality show legal battles, both these shows faired well in the ratings. The burden will be on RDF Media to show there were stolen ideas that resulted in financial damage.

There could be further litigation in the near future. In January Fox and ABC will come out with shows involving nannies who discipline children. ABC rolls out Supernanny, a British-inspired reality show about a UK nanny who straightens out-of-control American children. Fox's Nanny 911, will be a British-produced reality show about a team of UK nannies who straighten out etc etc.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/20/BIG-Magic_Akbar_Logo.jpg?itok=WhRLhaGi
Big Magic to air 'Akbar' from 20 Feb

MUMBAI: BIG Magic, a variety general entertainment channel, adds yet another unique offering to its bouquet of shows with the launch of a first-of-its-kind historic drama, ‘Akbar’.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/20/IPL-2017%20%281%29_0.jpg?itok=6bGpZAhN
IPL 2017 auction: Ben Stokes, Tymal Mills top overseas buys, Karn Sharma biggest Indian buy

England’s all rounder Ben Stokes at Rs. 145 million (RPS) followed by compatriot Tymal Mills at Rs. 120 million (RCB) were amongst the top foreign buys, while Indians player Karn Sharma was picked by MI for Rs. 35 million at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 auction that began in Bengaluru...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/20/Big-Little-Lies%20%281%29.jpg?itok=T6WzQH0j
Star World Premiere HD set to air 'Big Little Lies'

Star World Premiere HD is now all set to premiere one of the most awaited series of the year –Big Little Lies on 21 February at 10 pm.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/20/Vikas-Handu%20%281%29.jpg?itok=bzbhX7if
Vikas Handu joins India TV as VP digital strategy

Vikas Handu has joined India TV as a vice president, Digital Strategy. Prior to this he had been heading product and technology at The Indian Express group. He will report to Ritu Dhawan, MD and CEO, India TV.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/20/Living-Foodz%20%281%29.jpg?itok=YoEyleUL
Living Foodz partners with 'All Things Nice' for the 5th Edition of 'Celebrating India's Finest'

All Things Nice hosted the 5th edition of ‘Celebrating India’s Finest’ to recognize the winners of the ‘Indian Wine Consumer’s Choice Awards’, 2017, in association with lifestyle partner Living Foodz. The premium lifestyle channel is set to bring this unique experience to it’s viewers for the first...

Television TV Channels Specialised and Niche
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/19/pepsi-ipl%20%281%29.jpg?itok=xgcsPsUr
IPL: BCCI interim admin issues directions on player auction

BCCI's Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Sunday issued the following directions in respect of the upcoming IPL Player Auctions to be held in Bengaluru on 20th February 2017:

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/19/raj-nayak.jpg?itok=D-QNNKzN
BT Media distributing Colors HD to Sky UK subs

BT Media & Broadcast, the global media services business of BT last Friday evening announced its association with Viacom18, one of India’s fastest growing entertainment network, to bring its flagship Hindi general entertainment channel, Colors, to Sky TV subscribers in the UK in High...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/17/india-tv%20%281%29.jpg?itok=HWCANXFr
India TV rules Hindi News, ABP dominates Hindi Rural

India TV toppled Aaj Tak in the Hindi News genre taking the number one position. In this week’s data, India News gave way to News18 to feature in the top five channels list.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/17/vivo%20%281%29.jpg?itok=-DHigbci
Sony Six to telecast IPL player auction live

The sports cluster of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) is all geared up to broadcast the Vivo IPL 2017 player auction live and exclusive. The auction will be aired from Bangalore on 20 February 9 am onwards on Sony Six SD and Sony Six HD channels.

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories