Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Tosses RICO Claim|Over BBC Roadtrip Show

(CN) - A New York man failed to prove that the Travel Channel, BBC and NBC Universal swiped his idea for the BBC show "The Great American Roadtrip," a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled.

Christopher Cardillo and his company, 5 Plus 7 Inc., sued the media companies under a federal racketeering law, claiming they conspired to profit off his idea.

U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry said Cardillo's racketeering claim "falls far short of alleging a plausible RICO claim," a reference to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Cardillo claimed he submitted an idea for a show called "The American Family Cardillo," which would "follow a family of four (36 yo male attorney, 30 yo former high fashion model, and there (sic) two dynamic young girls 7 and 5) as they drive from NYC to the tip of South America in a Winnebago."

He said the Travel Channel and one of its employees passed the idea on to the BBC, which used the idea to produce the show "The Great American Road Trip," a reality show in which seven families from across the world compete for a $100,000 prize.

BBC allegedly sold the show to NBC Universal, which will purportedly broadcast it.

Judge Irizarry said Cardillo and his company "fail to allege the existence of a RICO enterprise," or that the defendants "participated in the operation or management" of the alleged racketeering enterprise.

"Plaintiffs also fail to show a 'pattern of racketeering activity,'" Irizarry wrote.

She dismissed the claims with prejudice, without leave to amend, saying the court's time and resources "are more properly devoted to legitimate litigants and their claims."

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.