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Was the Concept Behind ‘New Girl’ Plagiarized?

Plagiarism is back in the news yet again. The creators of a failed sitcom project called Square One are claiming that the Zooey Deschanel hit New Girl is a rip-off of their concept, and they say they have the evidence to prove the “blatant plagiarism.” In a lawsuit filed last week, two screenwriters claim that after seeking representation from a Hollywood talent agency, another client of the agency soon found success with a concept that was “remarkably similar” to theirs. Though some of the similarities could just be weird coincidences (an awkward, thirtysomething protagonist who discovers she has been the victim of infidelity; a controlling boss at work; a lead character who moves in with three men, each of whom have similar personalities), some seem to suggest that the show was in fact the result of plagiarism (in both shows: the best friend at work has the name CeCe or C.C.; the unfaithful partner was named Spencer; the cynical, bar-tending roommate becomes a love interest; the lead receives a makeover from a friend). While the two young screenwriters behind Square One were initially shopping around their script, they even claimed to have suggested Zooey Deschanel for the lead role. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pair—who say they wrote their concept based on real-life experiences—are seeking monetary damages from Fox, along with a public apology and credit as the creators of the show …

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