Two Long Island men have filed suit against Spike TV claiming copyright infringement involving the sports reality show Pros vs. Joes.
Christopher Castorina of Huntington and Steven Morse of Lake Grove filed suit June 28 in U.S. District Court in Central Islip.
The two say they came up with a treatment for a reality show, titled "Two Left Feet", in 2005. They add that "Pros vs. Joes" came out later and had many striking similarities.
Pros vs. Joes stages physical challenges pitting regular guys against top pro athletes.
The federal court docket does not show answers by Spike TV or the other defendants to the suit, filed by the plaintiffs' attorney Donna D. Maio of Huntington.
David Schwarz, the vice president for communications at Spike, said the network had no comment on the lawsuit.
Castorina and Morse say that, compared to their idea, "Pros vs. Joes" has "strikingly similar" features including "concept, content, structure, presentation and format.”
The two said they created a treatment in 2004 for a program "to show that some men missed their calling as athletes and some men should stay home, content to yell at the TV during games."
They got a certificate of registration from the Writers Guild of America on April 6, 2004 which, they said, predates Spike TV's show. They began seeking a network TV contract in January 2005, they said.
Season 5 of the show -- hosted by Michael Strahan and Jay Glazer -- premieres July 21 with a special episode featuring Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens playing basketball against former NBA legends such as Hakeem Olajuwon. In the photo above, NFL legend Jerry Rice went up against average guy John Jordan in an earlier season.
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