The Bombay High court on 7 June granted an stayed in the interim the CNN-IBN reality show Summer Showdown, accused of violating copyright and breaching confidentiality by scriptwriter Urmi Javekar Chiang, who had allegedly sent the channel the original project titled Work in Progress.
This means that the last three episodes, the conclusive part of which was to air today (9 June), could not be aired, as an appeal to vacate the stay filed by the channel yesterday was refused by the court.
The article on The Hoot (if it loads) gives a timeline of the “inspiration”:
Here is how the story unfolded:
10th March 2006, Urmi wrote to Rasika Tyagi from CNN IBN after a telephonic conversation and e-mailed her the concept note.
21st March 2006, Rasika Tyagi wrote back saying that she found the concept note interesting and asked for a meeting.
3rd April 2006, a meeting is held in the CNN IBN office in Delhi. A detailed concept note with treatment, sample characters and episode development is presented along with the budget and production plan. The budget is deemed to be high and CNN IBN offers some in-house facilities to bring costs down.
They also suggest an option of doing it in two languages so that it can be broadcast on IBN 7 simultaneously.
Several more discussions are held in subsequent months and finally Urmi is informed that the project will be considered after World Cup 2007.
14th May 2007, CNN IBN puts on a new show ‘Summer Showdown’. It is a daily 3-minute capsule, but has no the-end-of-the-week review. Their website ibnlive.com advertises it as a reality show showcasing five families across five metros solving their civic problems in 4 weeks.
19th May 2007, Urmi is informed by friends that a show that looks very similar to her ‘Work in Progress’ is on air and she manages to see the show.
This kind of thing is a nightmare for creative people because they’re always worried that someone will steal their ideas and though it doesn’t seem to happen all that often, in this case, it probably did.
In somewhat related news, when you search for the phrase ‘the hoot’ in Google, the first result returned is for The Hoot and it comes with the warning message This site may harm your computer.
This is valid only if you’re from CNN-IBN.