"In Living Color" creator sues Disney over "Hannah Montana"

Buddy Sheffield, a Los Angeles-based writer who created the Fox sketch series In Living Color and the minimalist Nickelodeon sketch comedy series Roundhouse is suing The Walt Disney Company claiming that one of their most popular shows was stolen from one of his ideas. In 2001, Sheffield pitched an idea to Disney for a TV show entitled Rock and Roland, which would have revolved around Roland Dillard, an ordinary kid who, unbeknownst to most of his friends, is also a famous singer named Rock Ryder. In 2006, Disney launched a TV series entitled Hannah Montana, starring Billy Ray Cyrus and his real life daughter, Destiny “Miley” Cyrus, who plays Miley Stewart, an ordinary kid who, unbeknownst to most of her friends, is also a famous singer named Hannah Montana. I only point this out because I haven’t thought about Roundhouse in years, and Rock and Roland is a great name for a show.

[source: E!, Reuters]

Are either of these shows intended to be set in the same universe as Superman?

Someone should introduce Mr. Sheffield to a little cartoon from the 80s called Jem and the Holograms.

I’m sure the story idea goes back further than that as well.

Back in the late 80s, I read a YA novel about a boy named Ronnie who wanted to be a rock musician, but his dad was very strict and didn’t like him to play guitar, though he was talented. So Ronnie recorded a demo tape as “Spartacus”, sent it to a record label, and wound up becoming a rock star, using the Spartacus persona to hide the truth from his parents. He wore a ski mask to all personal appearances, to maintain the aura of mystery. I wish I could remember the kid’s last name, 'cause it was part of the title, “You’re a Star, Ronnie [Lastname]!” I can’t believe that’s the only thing about that book I don’t remember. So, no, the idea of a normal teen living a double life as a rock star is not a new one.

So, Ronnie made a record, went straight up to number one?

Never seen the show, but Wikipedia/IMDB didn’t make this clear. How can you be a secret pop star?

IMDb also says that her best friend, Lilly, has a double life as Hannah Montana’s best friend Lola:

So, her friend’s secret identity is just being the best friend of her rock star persona?

She wears a wig when she’s Hannah Montana.

Hey, Superman hid his secret identity with just a pair of glasses … .

Its television targeted to ten year old girls - don’t look for the reality here.

Basically Mylie lives a normal teenage girl life (young teenage girl, she doesn’t have a drivers license). She sings under the stage name “Hannah Montana” Interested in having a normal teenage life (where she is kind of an unpopular geek) her normal identity is secret. Hannah’s dad takes her to her concerts in a limo (in a disguise worse than hers), she wears a wig. Her two best friends know - her best friend Lily is Hannah’s best friend “Lola” also in a wig. Why the photographers don’t follow her home (they do at least once), why she can go to normal school and doesn’t do the constant travel concert schedule required of most music stars, is left to the “plot holes of TV written for people without critical thinking skills”)

Most of the Disney sitcoms, including Hannah Montana, are written by graduates of the Miller-Boyett School of Sitcom Writing and are saved only by the talented acting. I only pointed this out because Hannah Montana is a cash cow for Disney. That, and the past writing credits of Mr. Sheffield combined with this lawsuit give me this bizarre mental image of Hannah Montana performing while an angry black clown shouts “Homey don’t play that” and a father in a motorized easy chair goes around the stage. Or something.

Slight hijack: Is anybody picking up traces of multiple personality disorder here? Just a thought.

Good lord, I would have *loved *this show as a ten year old girl! What “unpopular geek” didn’t have fantasies in which her mean classmates didn’t know she was secretly the princess of Luxembourg or a famous movie star or the daughter of Simon Le Bon?

Uh…that last bit might be TMI… :smiley:

watch the show and you’ll probably change your mind. It’s absolutely beyond dreadful. I swear to you, Hannah Montana is a scourge upon the earth. It’s too stupid even for ten-year-old girls.*

Naturally, my little sister is obsessed with it.

*trust me. I watch and mildly enjoy Full House when I’m bored. I KNOW dumb. Hannah Montana is way past dumb. Raven is so much better, even though it also sucks.

Although I’d normally agree with that sentiment, they’re sure as heck doing something right.

Hanna Montana is braindead dreck that makes one long for the intellectual stimulation of The Brady Bunch. That being said, I have to admit that Ms. Mylie Cyrus has talent and charisma to spare. And as far as the whole “secret identity” concept goes, to my eye Mylie and Hannah look like two completely different people. If I didn’t know the gimmick to the show, I’d certainly be fooled.

My daughter Kizarvexilla (who started third grade today and is right in the target demographic) watches the show daily and gives me constant plot updates. Fortunately, she herself overdosed on the music at daycare over the summer, so I am not subjected to the soundtrack on a regular basis. I’ll never forgive my mother for buying Kizarvexilla the High School Musical CD for her karaoke machine. As if a single father didn’t have enough incentive to lock himself in his room and never come out whenever the apartment is invaded by a gaggle of my daughter’s school age friends.

Hey, its heads and shoulders over “The Suite Life of Zac and Cody” or “Corey In The House.”

There is some smart kids TV (Kim Possible, Avatar) - most of it is really dreck.

It makes me long for the days when Nickelodeon had some really smart, funny and quirky TV shows. Where would shows like “Pete and Pete” or “Clarissa Explains It All” or “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” fit into a world like this?

I thought they ripped it off from Henry V.

This is true. My little sister is also obsessed with Zac & Cody. Not so much (mercifully) with Corey in the House. But I’ll grant that Hannah Montana is worlds better than Zac & Cody.

But they all suck horribly and in stereo. The only one I like, and it’s an old one, is Boy Meets World. The rest is… high-gloss stupidity with incessant laugh tracks.
I like Fairly OddParents, though. She hates it, but it’s apparently my exact brand of humor. Because I tend to laugh myself stupid watching it while everybody else is staring at me like I’m from outer space.

Anybody remember Who Is Bugs Potter?.

I loved that book.

Reading the description, it also sounds a lot like the old Disney show The Famous Jett Jackson, where the main character had a double life as normal teenager and action movie star. Maybe they can argue that they only ripped off themselves.