Production company asks for injunction against airing Hey Paula

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Feb 8th 2007 3:04PM
Paula AbdulPaula Abdul's new reality series, Hey Paula may never make it on the air if Pilgrim Films and Television has anything to say about it.

In 2004, Pilgrim's producers reportedly met with Paula to discuss creating a talk show together. Pilgrim claims the original talk show concept was scrapped, but a new concept emerged -- a reality show based on Paula's crazy professional and personal life, called Hey Paula. However, the project soon "fell apart" over Paula's demand for "editorial control." That allegedly didn't stop Paula from secretly taking the show to Bravo behind Pilgrim's back.

Now Pilgrim has filed a lawsuit against Paula and they are asking for "compensatory and punitive damages." They also want an injunction that will prohibit the airing of Hey Paula. According to TMZ, Paula responded: "Hey Paula is based upon my life and my ideas. Last I heard, I still own my own life."

I'm not sure what kind of case Pilgrim really has. It's fairly difficult to "claim" reality show ideas. I pitched this idea and this idea to different companies, and yet I know I have no real case for claiming these shows as my own, because they are not "exactly" the same as the ones I pitched (although Man Land is pretty damn close to my Man Town pitch) and they are not the most original concepts. It is likely that many creative people have the same "idea" at the same time. Unfortunately, you can't copyright "ideas."

In this case, where the concepts are SO obviously similar, I simply wonder why Paula didn't tweak the concept a bit and change the darn name, if she didn't want Pilgrim to be a problem. Because she is right, she owns her life. Without her, Pilgrim doesn't have a show. And although I'd love to be paid for all of my wacky ideas, I'm not sure Pilgrim is owed a whole heck of a lot for coming up with the idea of documenting Paula's life. In this day and age, celeb-reality isn't exactly an original concept.

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VSJ

Hey Paula, yes, you may own the ideas of your life, but it's just bad business to shop the concept of another producer, without that producer's consent or involvement...You should at the very least work out a co-production deal!

February 11 2007 at 3:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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