Earlier this month, it seemed like NBC had reached a new low when it effectively announced, “We have no ideas. Do you?” The network launched a crowdsourcing effort to come up with new comedies to fill the dead spot in their schedule. The crux of that effort was a web site, NBC Comedy Playground, which asked for submissions for new show ideas, in an effort to attract new voices, but not that new, as WGA membership was a prerequisite.
Having debased itself thus far, it should come as a shock to no one that NBC has travelled further down the crevasse, as the network is now being sued over NBC Comedy Playground. As it turns out, NBC’s effort to discover new names in comedy has inadvertently used an already-existing name. Comedy Playground is a group that has been giving classes in stand-up and comedy performance to teens since 2002, and is based out of L.A.’s legendary club The Improv. Comedy Playground’s lawsuit claims NBC is infringing on their trademark, and causing “devastating and irreparable” harm to their business. It’s less devastating and irreparable than canceling every 10pm drama to squeeze a fourth late-night talk show onto the schedule, but devastating nonetheless.
NBC has not yet commented, but it’s expected that network spokesperson Shia LeBeouf will eventually announce, via skywriting, that the whole thing was an elaborate piece of performance art, before declaring, accurately, that no one on NBC is a celebrity.
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