Endemol, Nine sew seeds of battle

Gardening show idea source disputed

SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under.

The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost identical, with gardeners and builders giving makeovers to the gardens of ordinary people.

“Ground Force” achieves a 47% audience share on Britain’s BBC1 and has been sold Stateside to PBS station WNET New York.

Endemol creative director Peter Bazalgette said he and the BBC, which jointly owns the format, are seeking legal advice over the situation. Nine already licenses “Changing Rooms” from Endemol’s distribution arm Gem.

“This shows a complete disregard by the Nine Network of all existing international format trade practices and puts very dark clouds over the existing business relationship between Endemol and the Nine Network,” said Gem sales and acquisitions head Peter Van den Bussche.

While Nine execs were unavailable for comment owing to extended Easter holidays Down Under, disquiet about the upcoming bow of two identical shows on rival webs surfaced late last week.

Don Burke, who created “Burke’s Backyard,” from which Nine claims “Backyard Blitz” is a spinoff, has come out fighting. He accuses “Ground Force” of having “packaged a number of ideas from ‘Burke’s Backyard.’ People have always cloned us.”

(Sharon Swart in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)

More Biz

  • Roman Polanski

    LAPD Investigating Allegations Against Roman Polanski, Case Cannot Be Prosecuted

    SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under. The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost […]

  • Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Doug

    Celebrities Celebrate Doug Jones' Senate Win: 'This Is A Pretty Good Night'

    SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under. The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost […]

  • Ajit Pai net neutrality

    Hundreds of Musicians -- From R.E.M. to Turnip King -- Sign Statement Defending Net Neutrality

    SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under. The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost […]

  • Rescue dogs

    Film Publicists Organize New York City Fundraiser for Rescue Dogs

    SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under. The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost […]

  • pandora

    Pandora Names Aimée Lapic Chief Marketing Officer

    SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under. The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost […]

  • NFL players suspension

    NFL Network Suspends On-Air Analysts Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

    SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under. The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost […]

  • Get Hard

    Writer Claims 'Get Hard' Ripped Off His 'Prison 101' Idea

    SYDNEY — A legal spat is brewing between Endemol Entertainment and Kerry Packer’s Nine Network over allegations that the Australian web is broadcasting a copycat version of Endemol’s “Ground Force,” which is licensed to Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network Down Under. The concepts behind Nine’s “Backyard Blitz” and “Ground Force,” both preeming this week, are almost […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content