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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 09:55 GMT
US battle over survival shows
Tony Blackburn
DJ Tony Blackburn won the UK version of Celebrity
The United States TV network that made reality show Survivor is suing a rival over a celebrity survival show that it says copies the idea.

The CBS network has filed a lawsuit against ABC asking the court to block the broadcast of the US version of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here.


Celebrity was consciously designed to mimic Survivor

CBS lawsuit
CBS says I'm A Celebrity... directly copies the "format, look and feel" of Survivor.

A UK version of I'm A Celebrity..., which featured eight stars living in the jungle for two weeks, was a hit in September.

That version also attracted legal action from Sir Bob Geldof, whose company, Castaway Television, owns the UK rights to the reality TV Survivor format.

The US version is due to be broadcast in February 2003, the lawsuit says.

'Inhospitable'

"Celebrity was consciously designed to mimic Survivor and unfairly trade on its success," it says.

"Like Survivor, Celebrity strands a group of participants in a remote and inhospitable location."

CBS says Celebrity even imitates Survivor's style "including frequent aerial shots and close-ups of indigenous wildlife, overhead views of fireside chats and elimination ceremonies."


Their claim... is entirely unfounded and we will strongly defend any proceedings

Paul Nichols
Granada
ABC and Granada - who are making the show - did not back down after a threat from CBS in September, the suit says.

CBS is also seeking unspecified damages.

Paul Nichols, a Granada spokesman in California said: "It is regrettable that CBS is intending to take action against us.

"Their claim that our format infringes their rights in Survivor is entirely unfounded and we will strongly defend any proceedings that may be issued."

Tasks

In the UK version, the minor celebrities lived in the Queensland jungle, in Australia, taking part in gruelling tasks in order to win food for the group every day.

The stars were voted out one-by-one by the public until DJ Tony Blackburn was named winner.

The programme raised more than 600,000 for various charities.

The fifth series of Survivor in the US, set in Thailand, is currently on air.

Survivor features 16 people stranded in a remote location, competing for a $1m prize.

See also:

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