The Apprentice sues The Ambassador

Mark Burnett Productions and Fremantle Media claim Keshet Broadcasting's reality show used their format.

The producers of reality show The Apprentice, in which Donald Trump participates, is suing Channel 2 franchisee Keshet Broadcasting. He is demanding that it cease producing the reality show The Ambassador, which is scheduled to being a new season soon.

Mark Burnett Productions (the creator of Survivor and The Apprentice) and Freemantle Media (the content arm of RTL) filed a lawsuit with the Tel Aviv District Court against Keshet. The petitioners are demanding that Keshet cease producing The Ambassador on the grounds that it is a knock-off of The Apprentice.

The lawsuit states, The television show The Ambassador produced by Keshet Broadcasting copies and apes extensive and unique parts of the show The Apprentice. The lawsuit goes on to state that Keshet was given the opportunity to purchase the format of The Apprentice, but after studying the show and learning its secrets, Keshet decided to reject the offer, claiming a full broadcasting schedule.

The lawsuit lists over 30 examples in which The Ambassador resembles the original The Apprentice. The petitioners are seeking the disclosure of Keshets revenue from The Ambassador, as well as $250,000 in preliminary financial compensation for Keshets profits from the show.

Keshet said in response that the lawsuit is baseless. It says that it developed the format for The Ambassador, which is original, and that the show deals with a unique Israeli topic the countrys international public relations.

The Ambassador belongs to the new international genre of advanced reality shows, and was extensively covered by the worlds media after it came on the air. Leading international news media, including CNN, BBC, Sky News, and The New York Times, devoted extensive coverage to The Ambassador, calling it original and innovative, and stressing that such a show could only take place in a country like Israel, which is so conscious of its international image.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on September 21, 2005

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