Prince’s “New Girl” performance at the Super Bowl created a stir, playing himself in Fox’s “New Girl” episode going to air after the lopsided game. Prince may provide relationship advice for the main characters in the show but there are legal troubles out there for “New Girl” too.
A lawsuit from screenwriters Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold claims the show has stolen their ideas from the pilot script they wrote. They’re suing Fox, as well as “New Girl” creator Elizabeth Meriwether, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC, executive-producer Peter Chernin and executive-producer Jacob Kasdan.
The writers are suing for compensation as well as credit for the show and an injunction to stop filming and distribution.
The plaintiff writers allegedly shopped the script for a pilot called “Square One” through William Morris Endeavor and later were shocked to see the script under development and then going to air to rave reviews.
Counts and Gold retained a lawyer and informed the defendants that they were infringing upon the content of “Square One.” In fact, Fox reportedly made the writers a $10,000 settlement offer, but they refused the money.
Hollywood Reporter reports that “Square One” is actually based on Counts’ real-life experience of moving into a bachelor pad after finding out her husband was having an affair. The lawsuit states, “Any differences between the Square One scripts and New Girl are so small and insignificant that they cannot be afforded copyright protection, and are, in fact, nothing more than transparent attempts to hide Defendants’ blatant plagiarism.”
The documents list many similarities between “Square One” and “New Girl,” including the following: “both protagonists are awkward, quirky women around the age of thirty, the name of the protagonist’s unfaithful beau in each work is Spencer, the plot of both works revolves around the protagonist moving in with three guys, the three new guy roommates in each work have identical personality traits and the best friend in each work is named CeCe or has the initials C.C.”