Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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TruTV Caught Red-Handed, Writers Say

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Two Angelenos claim in court that TruTV stole their trade secrets for "Caught Red Handed," a reality show about undercover store detectives.

Click here to read Courthouse News' Entertainment Law Digest.

Harry Dunn and Steven Bloch sued Courtroom Television Network dba TruTV, in Superior Court, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, breach of implied contract, conversion and breach of confidence.

They seek an injunction against broadcast of the series, which is to premier next week.

Dunn and Block say that in 2008 they pitched their idea for a show about store detectives and shoplifters called "Hands off the Merchandise" to the cable TV network.

TruTV was interested, they say, so they produced a short video and drafted other materials with their collaborators, (nonparties) Scott Hallock and Kevin Healy.

"After defendants showed enthusiasm for the HOTM [Hands off the Merchandise] concept and after a substantial amount of work, energy and funds were put into the further development of the HOTM concept by plaintiffs, defendant informed HH [Hallock and Healy] that they would not further pursue the HOTM concept," the complaint states.

TruTV then produced a special using the "exact same concept" and developed the "Caught Red Handed" series, scheduled to begin next Tuesday on the network, according to the complaint.

"The idea, concept and format of the CRH [Caught Red Handed] special and the CRH series are identical to and indistinguishable from the HOTM concept, which was created, developed and is owned in its entirety by plaintiffs," the complaint states.

Dunn and Bloch say that they were never paid or compensated for their idea.

Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner, owns TruTV. The parent companies are not parties to the lawsuit.

Represented by Randall Fink, plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory and exemplary damages.

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