A couple years ago, CBS aired a reality show called Pirate Master. The series’ competition revolves around a group of regular people who sail on an old-style ship, take part in pirate-like challenges, and compete to win a million dollar treasure.
Pirate Master wasn’t a ratings success and CBS pulled it off the air after eight episodes. The network made the remaining six episodes available online but, as so often happens, many on-air didn’t know it. Many viewers were angered and never found out who won the booty and the title of Pirate Master. (For the record, it was the contestant pictured at right; Ben Fagan from Charleston, SC.)
Now, long after the show was cancelled, creator Mark Burnett is being sued over the series. TMZ has reported that James Papa has filed a $2 million lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against him.
Papa claims that Pirate Master is actually his creation and that he came up with the idea back in 2003. He says that he registered the concept with the US Copyright Office and that Burnett plundered his idea of “having a reality show on a pirate ship and making eliminated contestants walk the plank.”
This is just the latest in a number of unfortunate events surrounding this show. On July 27, 2007, former contestant Cheryl Kosewicz died from an apparent suicide. Kosewicz reportedly blames the show for causing friction between herself and her boyfriend who’d taken his own life two months earlier.
Image courtesy CBS.