NEW YORK – The producers of American Idol are threatening legal action against CBS and the producers of Star Search.
The potential court battle was sparked by a promotional ad for the CBS talent show that features the phrase: Who will be "The Next American Teen Idol"?
Monday night CBS began airing the ad - which even adopts the neon-blue colors and script-letters of the Idol logo -- to promote the young singer category featured on the talent show.
Yesterday American Idol producers sent a letter to CBS and Star Search producers demanding they "cease and desist" using the ad.
"We have received the letter and our lawyers have not yet responded to it yet," CBS spokesman Chris Ender told The New York Post yesterday.
Officials at Freemantle media, the production company behind American Idol, could not be reached for comment.
The legal wrangling is just the latest chapter in an ongoing court series of legal battles among the networks over who has rights to what in the red-hot reality TV genre.
CBS recently lost a lawsuit against ABC to keep I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, off the air. CBS claimed the new reality show was a knock-off of its own mega-hit Survivor.
Other lawsuits have included, Fox's Bootcamp and Temptation Island.
In 2000, Stacy Stillman, an castaway from the original season of Survivor famously sued the show claiming that its producers manipulated the vote which tossed her off the series. CBS counter-sued Stillman and the case is still pending.