new girl lawsuit jake johnson fox 'New Girl' sued: Lawsuit alleges Zooey Deschanel hit was stolen

Was “New Girl” stolen? That’s what a lawsuit filed on Thursday (Jan. 16) claims, and the plaintiffs are seeking money, credit and an end to the FOX comedy starring Zooey Deschanel.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, two writers, Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold, claim in the suit that “New Girl” is based almost entirely on their proposed television series, “Square One.” Their lawsuit claims that “any differences between the ‘Square One’ scripts and ‘New Girl’ are so small and insignificant that they cannot be afforded copyright protection.”

The suit further goes on to claim that “New Girl” is, in fact, nothing but plagiarism.

Apparently, Counts and Gold wrote their original script in 2006, based on Counts’ “real-life experience when she discovered her husband was having an affair, leading her to move into a three-man bachelor pad.” The script was initially meant as a TV pilot and was later rewritten as a feature film. By 2008, the script had made it to the William Morris Endeavor talent agency. At some point in the process, Counts and Gold also suggested Deschanel for the lead role in their story.

The plaintiffs say they first found out about possible plagiarism in the winter of 2011 when a friend told them about a show in development, “Chicks and Dicks.” Later renamed “New Girl,” series executive producer Elizabeth Meriwether is credited with the pilot script for the comedy. In the lawsuit, however, it is alleged that Meriwether, a client at WME, was given the script and simply rewrote it.

Similar characters and personality traits for each are listed as additional evidence of plagiarism.

Meriwether, pilot director Jake Kasdan and 20th Century Fox Television are all named as defendants in the suit, to which there has not yet been a response.

Posted by:Laurel Brown