A $200 million lawsuit against HBO, Dwayne Johnson, and Mark Wahlberg, claiming the HBO series Ballers ripped off the concept of another show has been thrown out.
Deadline reported on Monday, a judge dismissed a lawsuit from Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton against the creators of Ballers, who said they pitched a show similar to the HBO football comedy called Off Season. It was said Off Season shared similar plot points, including a lead character who was an African American football player turned businessman who mentored athletes in Miami. Their suit claimed copies of the duo’s show was given to Steve Mayer, an exec who worked for previous HBO chief executive Chris Albrecht.
E! News noted 27 similarities between the two shows, but as Judge George Wu ruled “The themes and concepts are widely different.” According to Deadline, Wu said the shows did share some similarities, but the claims did not infringe copyright. The ruling and the $200 million asking price suggests the Off Season team noted a few similarities and ran with the idea the two shows are alike. Ballers, isn’t exactly high concept, as its football Entourage. It’s no The Night Of.
The lawsuit being thrown out is no surprise, as it seemed unlikely at best to have merit. Ballers might not be the most challenging show, but the creators and producers should feel good knowing their original idea is undeniably theirs.