NEW YORK – A television writer has filed a lawsuit saying Jennifer Lopez and UPN stole his idea for a series based on his move from Brooklyn to Miami and involvement with the modeling and nightclub scenes.
Jack Bunick's lawsuit claims "South Beach," a TV series executive-produced by Lopez that debuted Jan. 11 on UPN, mirrors a script he wrote in 1999 for a pilot episode of a show that would have been called "South Beach Miami."
Bunick's script was about two young men from Brooklyn who travel to South Beach, where one of them quickly gets involved with the club and modeling scenes, according to the federal suit.
A recurring theme in his script "is that the main character is from Brooklyn, New York, and that he is, in many ways, out of his element in South Beach, Miami," the lawsuit said.
UPN's Web site says "South Beach" is about best friends Matt and Vincent, who "abandon their world as they know it and head to the alluring paradise of sandy beaches, beautiful people and hot spots in glamorous South Beach."
Bunick claims his agent spoke to a UPN executive and sent a copy of his script to her in February 2000 but he never was contacted by the network. He is seeking monetary damages and an injunction barring further broadcasting of "South Beach," which aired Wednesdays at 8 p.m. but has been canceled.
An e-mail sent Tuesday to a spokeswoman for Lopez and a telephone call to a spokeswoman for UPN were not immediately returned.
The lawsuit, filed April 11 in Manhattan, also names CBS Television, Viacom Networks Inc. and Lopez's Nuyorican Productions company.
UPN is a division of CBS Television Stations Group, and CBS Corp. and UPN were owned by Viacom Inc. before it split into two companies in 2005.