Thursday, May 29, 2008

NBC Hit With $30 Million Claim For Stealing Idea For News Series

Nbc Broadcast networks are used to being sued by people who say they first conjured up the idea behind a "Friends" or a "Heroes." But NBC now finds itself a defendant in a case centering on an ongoing segment produced by its news division.

Cynthia Tessler, a media producer, is suing the Peacock network for allegedly ripping off programming about taking care of elderly parents. In this lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Tessler says she brought the idea for "Parenting Your Parent" to NBC in 2001. For the next three years, the two parties discussed plans for the series and negotiated rights for it. Tessler copyrighted her idea and says that NBC agreed to pay her $750,000 before backing out when a third party involved in the program also backed out.

Later, NBC created "Trading Places," an ongoing series spotlighted on "NBC Nightly News."

Tessler says she is now entitled to some of the profits from the series and demands an astonishing $30 million for NBC's copyright infringement and breach of implied contract.