CBS vs. ABC – It’s the main event, and CBS isn’t even thinking about pulling punches, a reality made evident in the statement CBS released yesterday. The fictional and tongue-in-cheek press release was entitled: “CBS Announces Development of “Dancing on the Stars,” An Exciting and Completely Original Reality Program That Owes Its Concept and Execution to Nobody at All.”
If you aren’t familiar, here is a little background on this brewing legal battle. CBS is suing ABC over its new show the Glass House, which bears a striking resemblance to CBS’s longtime reality TV success Big Brother.
“Each show features a group of contestants trapped inside a house for several weeks. The houses are rigged with cameras so America can see every embarrassing money and fight and the contestants are voted out over a period of weeks,” wrote Forbes reporter Dorothy Pomerantz. “The shows are so similar that last month CBS sued to keep the Glass House off the air.”
To CBS’s dismay, a judge denied the request for an injunction before the show aired, and to make matter worse, apparently 19 people from the Big Brother crew have started working for the Glass House.
Now, although CBS may ultimately loose its legal arguments, it’s still aiming to win in the court of public opinion. The press release appealed to their audience’s sense of “right and wrong” by sarcastically outlining it’s own new “dazzling” show DANCING ON THE STARS, a morbid version of ABC’s primetime hit Dancing with the Stars.
The release also pokes fun at ABC saying that CBS’s new show “will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.” Oouch! (haha)
It also goes on to say, “Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with this title or our upcoming half-hour comedy for primetime, POSTMODERN FAMILY.” This of course is another jab at ABC’s Modern Family, and drives CBS’s point home, which I’ve boiled down to: ABC is simply slapping a new name on CBS’s successful show.
This may not be the most appropriate use of a press release, but it did get Forbes’ attention, and mine as well!
READ BELOW FOR THE FULL PRESS RELEASE:
Los Angeles, June 21, 2012 – Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS Television today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, ground-breaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network.
The dazzling new show, DANCING ON THE STARS, will be broadcast live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.
The cemetery, the first in Hollywood, was founded in 1899 and now houses the remains of Andrew “Fatty” Arbuckle, producer Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Paul Muni, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, George Harrison of the Beatles and Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones, among many other great stars of stage, screen and the music business. The company noted that permission to broadcast from the location is pending, and that if efforts in that regard are unsuccessful, approaches will be made to Westwood Village Memorial Park, where equally scintillating luminaries are interred.
“This very creative enterprise will bring a new sense of energy and fun that’s totally unlike anything anywhere else, honest,” said a CBS spokesperson, who also revealed that the Company has been working with a secret team for several months on the creation of the series, which was completely developed by the people at CBS independent of any other programming on the air. “Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with this title or our upcoming half-hour comedy for primetime, POSTMODERN FAMILY.”
“After all,” the spokesperson added, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”