Lorre Baffled By Belarusian Big Bang

The brains behind U.S. TV sitcom THE BIG BANG THEORY approached lawyers after discovering a copycat version of his show is a hit in Belarus - but was told legal action was fruitless because the country's government officials run the company behind the programme.

Writer/producer Chuck Lorre was stunned after learning about Belarusian programme The Theorists, which is strikingly similar to his own creation - it also follows the madcap antics of scientists who have a pretty blonde for a neighbour.

Lorre brought the matter to fans' attention with a message after the end credits of an episode of The Big Bang Theory which aired in the U.S. on Monday (08Feb10).

He wrote, "Belarus (has) a bustling TV production industry. One of their most recent hits is a sitcom about four nerdy scientists who live next door to a beautiful blonde waitress. The characters are named Sheldon, Leo, Hovard, Raj and Natasha, and the show is entitled, The Theorists... Each episode appears to be a Russian translation of aBig Bang Theory episode."

But when Lorre complained to attorneys at Warner Brothers about the alleged rip-off, he was informed they couldn't pursue a lawsuit: "We were told that it's next to impossible to sue for copyright infringement in Belarus because the TV production company that is ripping us off is owned and operated by the government of Belarus."


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