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Fox's 'So You Think You Can Dance' producers sued for idea theft

UPI News Service, 06/16/2006 

A man who bills himself as "The Dance Doctor" is suing Fox TV in Los Angeles, claiming the network ripped off his idea for "So You Think You Can Dance."

John Cassese and his partners also named producers 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions, along with a management firm to which the group pitched their show in 2003, as defendants, reported.

The suit claims Cassese and his partners -- former Universal exec Maria Lamagra and writers Brian Nelson and Mark Wolfe -- registered the concept with the Writers Guild of America in 2003.

"So You Think You Can Dance" debuted last summer on Fox and averages 10 million viewers per episode.

The lawsuit alleges Cassese and his partners pitched a show in which dancers would be recruited from across the country and partnered up -- eventually performing different dancing styles in front of a panel of judges. That's "pretty much" what the Fox series does, Zap2 said.

The team said it pitched the idea to Martin Erlichman Associates, hoping to sell it to a talent agency, and that Erlichman never got back to them.

Neither Fox nor the show's producers commented.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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