Howard Stern Sues ABC Over 'Are You Hot?'
Fri Mar 14,10:51 AM ET
LOS ANGELES - Shock jock Howard Stern sued ABC and the producers of the reality series "Are You Hot?" claiming the show is based on his ideas that aired on his radio program and it ruined his chances for his own TV deal.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Superior Court, accuses the network of copying the "unique aspects" of a Stern radio segment in which members of his crew and guests evaluate the bodies of in-studio contestants.
Stern claims that some of the tactics used on his show were duplicated by ABC's version. Some of the alleged similarities include blunt criticism of contestants and the use of a laser pointer to highlight areas of the contestant's body.
"Are You Hot?" features contestants in various stages of dress posing in front of a three-judge panel who rate them solely on looks. The show is produced by Scott Einziger, a former executive producer of Stern's E! cable show. Former Stern sidekick Jackie Martling is listed as a consultant for the show.
Before the ABC show debuted, Stern was in talks to develop a TV series based on his radio segment, according to the suit. He planned to broadcast the show possibly on a pay-cable channel that wouldn't be subject to censorship.
But when ABC aired "Are You Hot?" talks for a Stern TV show collapsed, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said Stern warned the network that the series would be a "misappropriation," but that ABC disregarded him.
Stern is seeking $100 million in damages.