Somebody over at Warner Bros and Telepictures TV has got some ‘splainin’ to do as far as Tatyana Ali is concerned because she’s filed a lawsuit that the two entities stole her idea. In court documents, the actress says she came up with the concept for “The Real” and eventually pitched to execs in 2012 but was told they “decided to decline.”
Interestingly, she points that “The Real” debuted about six months later as “a direct production” of the concept she came up with, according to the suit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, reports Deadline.
“With a great deal of disappointment and complete disbelief,” the suit says, Ali “witnessed [her] concept come to life on major network television at the hands of the Defendant Corporations.” Warner Bros did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment. Ms. Ali’s suit (read it here) claims she came up with an idea for a reality-based daytime talk show with “a unique and innovative format, which featured an eclectic group of engaging female celebrity hosts, each aged within their 20’s and 30’s … designed to pique the interest of the younger side of the mid-life/mid-career female population and featured a variety of contemporary discussion topics in a relaxed and informal setting.” Meanwhile “The Real” – featuring co-hosts Adrienne Bailon, Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai and Tamara Mowry – premiered in July 2013 for a test run on Fox-owned stations.
“The five female host panel cast members very closely embody and mirror the personal and professional profiles of the specific and potential female celebrity hosts openly proposed in writing and in discussion by the Plaintiff during ‘pitch’ meetings she held with the Executives,” the suit says. “The Defendant Corporations did not at any time, directly or indirectly, acknowledge the use of the Plaintiff’s Concept.”
The show is now in national syndication and has been renewed through Spring, 2018 . The execs who were at that meeting in December 2012 were Hilary Estes McLoughlin, then-president of creative affairs at CBS Television Distribution, and Sheila Bouttier, who was SVP Development at Telepictures Productions.
Both are named as defendants along with Warner Bros Entertainment, Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution and Telepictures. The suit seeks unspecified damages from “all rightful gains, profits, and advantages derived by the Defendants” and the formation of a collective trust for Ali of “designated percentages of the proceeds resulting from past, current and future production and airing of The Real television program.”