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

  • Lauren HollyAmerican Heart Association Go Red

    Lauren Holly Describes Harvey Weinstein Harassment: 'I Wanted to Flee'

    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 […]

  • Harvey Weinstein Sex Addict? Dr. Drew

    Dr. Drew Pinsky on Harvey Weinstein's Rehab: 'The More He Fights It, the Less Well It's Going to Go'

    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 […]

  • Oprah Celebrates 'Wisdom of Sundays' With

    Oprah Winfrey Celebrates New Book 'Wisdom of Sundays' With Star-Studded Gospel Brunch

    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 […]

  • Korean Talent Agency YG Seeks SE

    Korean Talent Agency YG Seeks Southeast Asia Breakthrough

    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 […]

  • WME, IMG Combine Film and TV

    WME, IMG Combine Film and TV Sales Operations Under Endeavor Content Banner

    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 […]

  • Roy Price and Lila Feinberg'The Last

    Amazon Exec Roy Price's Fiancée Cancels Wedding After Sexual Harassment Allegations

    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 […]

  • Charles Harder

    Harvey Weinstein Splits with Lawyer Handling NYT Lawsuit, Suit Not Yet Filed

    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