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HBO filed a motion last week seeking to dismiss a lawsuit claiming the “Ballers” series starring “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson was lifted from two writers’s proposed idea, reports Deadline.
Rock was named as a defendant in the suit along with co-star Mark Wahlberg and HBO. In HBO’s legal response last week, the cabler petitioned a Los Angeles court to “do nothing more than review the works themselves to conclude that Plaintiffs’s complaint should be dismissed.”
Writers Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton claimed their pitch for a sports-themed show called “Off-Season” is similar to “Ballers” and follows the creative outline they presented to TV executives several years ago.
HBO claimed the opposite in their filing, saying “the works bear absolutely no similarity in their expression – i.e., in plot, theme, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, and sequence of events.”
In the lawsuit, the writers claimed the “stories, character traits, scenes, and incidents portrayed in the two works, Ballers and Off Season, are, in many respects, virtually identical and strikingly similar.”
HBO’s legal team is seeking a hearing in July to review their petition for the suit to be tossed. Season 2 of “Ballers” is also expected to premiere in July, making it seem like HBO wants the show to be free and clear of legal issues to not distract from promoting the next season.