BBC Worldwide is suing an Italian television network owned by Silvio Berlusconi over claims that it has copied Strictly Come Dancing. A hearing is due to take place on tomorrow about a new show called Baila!, which is set to debut on Mediaset’s Canale 5 later this month.
BBC Worldwide contends it copies Strictly’s concept, which has been called the most successful reality format in the world. Mediaset has denied the accusations.
In a statement to BBC News, Mediaset said: “This is perhaps the first time in the history of television that an accusation of plagiarism is levelled against a programme that hasn’t even yet been broadcast. It will be the judge to make the final decision, but Mediaset remains convinced that Baila! is a different programme to the BBC’s format and that of Rai’s Dancing With The Stars. We simply want the opportunity to show this to the public as well.”
Strictly Come Dancing, which pits celebrity amateurs against each other in a weekly ballroom dancing competition, has been sold to more than 35 countries. In many of them, including the US version, it is known as Dancing With The Stars. An authorised Italian version is already run by another broadcaster, Rai, which took Mediaset to court in Rome over the format earlier this year.
via BBC News