Broadcast: Fremantle raises questions over Bring the Noise
28 October 2015
Originally published in Broadcast: Fremantle Media UK has written to Sky and the indie behind Bring the Noise seeking assurances that the music panel show is unrelated to a format it previously pitched to the broadcaster.
Fremantle Media UK has written to Sky and the indie behind Bring the Noise seeking assurances that the music panel show is unrelated to a format it previously pitched to the broadcaster.
Fremantle’s lawyers wrote to Sky and Duncan Gray’s fledgling production company Twenty Six 03 Content ahead of Bring the Noise’s launch last Thursday.
The company asked whether Bring the Noise is “significantly different” to an idea Talkback submitted to Gray when he was Sky’s head of entertainment, between June 2009 and December 2011.
Fremantle did not make a formal allegation that its copyright had been infringed and sources have stressed that it is not threatening legal action.
Fremantle explained in its letter that Talkback pitched Gray a music panel show, fronted by former The X Factor host Dermot O’Leary, with the title Bring the Noise.
It was developed for Sky over a period of time and was renamed Dermot’s Headline Act, but was not ultimately commissioned.
Twenty Six 03 has appointed a format dispute specialist and Lewis Silkin partner to handle the matter.
Coad has sent a robust response to Fremantle’s letter this week, arguing that no elements of the format it originally pitched to Sky have been re-produced in Bring the Noise.
The lawyer also made clear that Fremantle cannot claim ownership over “generic elements” of entertainment shows with live music and celebrity guests because they are basic to all shiny-floor formats.
A Twenty Six 03 spokesman said: “A suggestion has been raised that the Twenty Six 03’s new Bring the Noise format broadcast on Sky infringes rights owned by Fremantle in a programme in the same genre.
“This allegation is denied by Twenty Six 03, which has instructed its lawyers to rebut any claim based on that allegation.”
A Sky spokeswoman added: “At Sky we take our role as commissioners seriously. It’s therefore really important to us that we act with integrity and behave responsibly in all that we do. We would never commission a show that we believed was based on someone else’s idea.”
Bring the Noise was the first commission for Twenty Six 03 earlier this year and launched on Sky 1 last Thursday to 240,000 (1.2% share) viewers in a 9pm slot.
The show is hosted by The Voice UK coach Ricky Wilson, who is flanked by team captains Nicole Scherzinger and Tinie Tempah, and regular panellist Katherine Ryan.
They take part in rounds involving music trivia questions, games with musical set pieces, and VTs, including spoof video parodies and mash-ups. The show culminates in the two teams competing in a musical performance battle.
Format points for the show that Talkback developed are not known.
A Fremantle spokeswoman said: “Fremantle Media UK has sent a letter to Twenty Six 03 and Sky to seek reassurances that Bring The Noise is significantly different to a format pitched to Duncan Gray while he was head of entertainment at Sky.