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Howard Stern sues ABC's 'Are You Hot?' for copying

By Wade Paulsen, 03/15/2003 

Pity poor ABC. For the second time in 2003, it is being sued for stealing someone's else ideas for a reality show. This time, according to the Associated Press, the party suing is Howard Stern, the king of radio "shock jocks." Stern claims that the ABC show Are You Hot? is "a blatant rip-off" of a segment of Stern's show called "The Evaluators."

In "The Evaluators," according to Stern's lawsuit, Stern asks members of his crew and celebrity guests to evaluate the physical attributes of contestants, to determine whether they are "hot enough" to appear in Playboy or Penthouse. According to Stern, he was negotiating with a pay-cable channel to offer a televised version of this segment when ABC suddenly came up with Are You Hot?, which killed Stern's proposed show. In addition, the producer of Are You Hot? used to be the executive producer of Stern's cable TV show on the E! Network, and Stern's former head writer is a consultant to the show.

A copy of the lawsuit may be found in Adobe Acrobat format here. Stern is seeking $100 million in damages from ABC for "unfair business practices," "unfair competition" and "unjust enrichment," among other charges. Well, that's a first -- Howard Stern accusing someone else of behaving unjustly and unfairly with a straight face.

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