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Peacock sues E! over SNL sketches

Net alleges 'blatant and willful infringement' by cabler

NBC is seeking a court order barring cable network E! Entertainment from airing a compilation of “Saturday Night Live” sketches called “101 Most Unforgettable SNL Moments” without permission.

NBC, in a complaint filed Monday in federal court in Los Angeles, accused E! of “blatant and willful infringement” for creating the five-episode series that will compete with its own periodic SNL compilations.

According to the suit, NBC Enterpriseshad granted E! exclusive but limited rights to telecast specific episodes of SNL but not to create its own programs.

After NBC learned of E!’s plans last October, the network said it told E! that it was not authorized to do this.

“To their astonishment, plaintiffs learned on about December 16, 2003 that E! Entertainment was proceeding with the E! Series, despite plaintiffs’ express refusal to consent to its production and broadcast,” the suit said.

The complaint also seeks seeks treble damages. It was filed by NBC in-house counsel James Lichtman and Camilo Echavarria.

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