Three producers filed a $60 million breach of contract lawsuit over the Oxygen cable television channel’s 2011 reality series “Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, Denny O’Neil Jr., Jake Hall and Charles Malcolm claim that they registered an idea with the Writers Guild in 2007 for a show called “Wedding Rescue,” in which Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott would become wedding planners and help couples create their dream wedding. The three men allege that they sent a copy of their treatment to an agent representing Spelling and McDermott and World of Wonder Productions, contacted an executive at Oxygen and had a meeting in 2009. They were told later that year that Oxygen was not interested, but saw the first episode of “sTORIbook Weddings” in April 2011 and eight subsequent episodes that they claim was “uncannily similar” to their “Wedding Rescue” idea.
The lawsuit filed against Oxygen Media, Bunim-Murray Productions, World of Wonder Productions and Life in a Bowl Productions—Spelling and McDermott’s production company—seeks more than $8.5 million on each of seven causes of action. It alleges breach of implied-in-fact contract, breach of implied-in-law contract, breach of fiduciary duty, slander of title, false advertising, unfair business practices in addition to other claims. According to the Reporter, the lawsuit claims that the three men also pitched Oxygen and Bunim-Murray an idea for a reality series about a competition among tattoo artists that they called the “Tattoo Star” treatment. This again involved another alleged 2009 meeting with executives with the producers being told “it was not right for Oxygen.” In March 2012, the three men saw “Best Ink” become a hit show for the network, and they claim it contains “nearly every creative element of the ‘Tattoo Star’ treatment.”
Robert G. Klein understands how costly contract disputes can be for businesses, and he helps individuals and companies of all sizes settle these conflicts. You can learn more about protecting intellectual property by visiting our website, and you can contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 or enter your information in the form on this page to let our Los Angeles breach of contract attorney review your case.
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