Seven launches court action against Nine claiming Hotplate infringes on MKR copyright

The Seven Network has launched legal action against the Nine Network claiming its new reality cooking show The Hotplate infringes on the network’s copyright by too closely mirroring its My Kitchen Rules format.

hotplate logo screen shotThe two TV networks will be in court on Tuesday with Seven seeking to have The Hotplate, which has been beating its new cooking/restaurant format Restaurant Revolution in the TV ratings, taken off-air and also potentially seeking damages.

“Channel Nine’s on-air promotions for its programme had a strange sense of deja vu,” said a Seven spokesman.

“We then saw it. We believe Nine has appropriated Seven’s My Kitchen Rules original format and related production elements, and contravened copyright.  That’s why we’re in court.”


The Hotplate’s Pickett and Parker Bowles

Many viewers, along with a number of people in the media, have commented on the similarities between Nine’s show and other reality cooking formats, as well as the similarities between Hotplate judges Scott Pickett and Tom Parker Bowles and MKR judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel. It has also been noted that there are similarities between The Hotplate’s logo and Ten’s Masterchef logo.

MKR’s Fieldel and Evans

The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that Seven will claim that The Hotplate has used almost identical casting, costuming, sets, music, promotion and judging processes to My Kitchen Rules.

Nine is expected to challenge the legal action, with a spokeswoman for the TV network today saying: “The Hotplate is an original format, developed by Nine, and we will be vigorously defending this action from Seven.”

Both shows were launched on Tuesday, the day after Ten’s cooking show Masterchef finished, with Hotplate outrating Restaurant Revolution on their first three outings. On launch Restaurant Revolution was watched by 676,000, dipping to 515,000 on Wednesday evening and dropping to 415,000 on Thursday, a 39 per cent decline according to the OzTam metro overnight ratings.

The legal action comes as Seven has moved to scale back the number of episodes of Restaurant Revolution from four a week to two and as senior media buyers criticised both TV networks for lacking originality and arguing the head to head reality cooking formats fail to give consumers sufficient choice.

A decision by the court to take The Hotplate off-air would be extremely costly for Nine which has already shot The Hotplate, and would have to urgently find new content to replace the prime time TV show which is scheduled to run in the 7.30pm slot on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

It would also probably give a shot in the arm to Seven’s Restaurant Revolution.

Nic Christensen  



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