March 24, 2008 11:19 AM by Jennifer_Brown
Oprah Winfrey’s foray into reality TV has been all about spreading a giving attitude (and loads of cash) across America, as contestants compete over who can most creatively give away the most money. But according to one Boston-area mother of four, Oprah’s Big Give was a Big Steal…from her.
Darlene Tracy claims that she had the original concept for the show, and is taking the battle to court to get her due.
According to Tracy, she pitched the idea for a philanthropy-based reality TV show to Ellen Rakieten and Jennifer Thornton, Oprah’s executive producer and producer, in 2005. The producers responded by asking for more information, but after Tracy gave them more details, they rejected the show concept.
Yet in 2006, plans for Oprah’s Big Give were announced, and Tracy claims the concept for the show is just too similar to the concept she sent them just a yearbefore.
Tracy filed suit in the Boston US District court,with the intent of keeping theBig Givefrom airing. Theaction was dismissed, but Tracy’s back now with alegal team, documentation of her correspondence with the show’s producers, and an appeal.
Correspondents for the show havestated that they’reunconcerned that thesuit will go very far and are confident that the judge will find Tracy’s claims to be “without merit.”
Oprah’s Big Give airs Sundays at 9:00 PM (ET) on ABC.
Photo Courtesy: Mitch Haddad/ABC