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Ghost Hunters vs. 'Ghost Hunters'

We Created that Show!

12/31/2011 4:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Ghost Hunters
A real-life parapsychologist and his producing partner claim they turned pale as a ghost when the Syfy channel began airing the show "Ghost Hunters" -- because they say they pitched the idea to the channel years earlier.

Larry Montz and Daena Smoller claim in a lawsuit they filed against NBC Universal -- which owns Syfy -- they hatched the idea for a show about paranormal investigators way back in 1981 and registered their treatment with the Writers Guild and the U.S. Copyright Office.

Montz and Smoller say their idea centered around a team investigating paranormal cases. They claim they pitched the concept to NBC repeatedly, between 1996-2001 ... but were ultimately shot down. 

Alas, Montz and Smoller claim the network then went to an outside production company, Pilgrim Films & Television Inc. -- also a defendant in the lawsuit -- and developed "Ghost Hunters" by ripping off their idea ... and it eventually premiered in 2004.

The suit has bounced around courts for the past few years, with the U.S. Supreme Court denying an appeal by NBC just a few months ago ... allowing Montz and Smoller to re-file. 

We made calls to NBC and Pilgrim. So far, no word back.


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Grant's HOT...just sayin'

1029 days ago


I hope they get paid especially since the network tried to be sneaky. This may teach a lesson to the greedy ***** out there.

1029 days ago

There's a problem here    

If that's for real then that's too bad. These ghost shows are such whores. Even if there is such a thing, they get one or two hits then sensationalize the next 10 shows. If you watch them, after you see four you've seen them all; same stuff, different places. Big yawn.

1029 days ago


It's not the same show. It's not the same network, and it's 30 years later. They need to get over it.

1029 days ago


Uhh... Actually HANS HOLZER is the original Ghost Hunter. Holzer not only wrote books, but had the original Ghost Hunter television program DECADES ago!

1029 days ago


Her is WHY you see so many fricken copy cat shows. WHenever you pitch a show to a network, they make you sign a waiver saying that if they listen to your pitch, you have to take the chance that they may already be working on a similar show or have already heard it before, therefore, you dont own your idea. So even if you say I want to do a show about cleaning out sewers looking for possums or some crazy **** like that, they have the right to do that show, the minute you walk out the door.
That's why you see copy cat shows come in waves.....extreme cakes, cupcake wars, all the home improvement ones, rehabs, little people, etc.
Productions companies are spineless preditors.

1029 days ago

Eagle Eye    

This show is crock, I have watched it a few times I have noticed that a lot things these two morons do are staged. You never see the ghost all you hear sound. I can make up sound in a vacant house and make everyone believe that there's ghosts. So come on this show should be CANCELED.

1029 days ago


When you officially pitch your idea to a tv show, there is fine print that says that by submitting your tv show idea, you waive any lawsuits to them if a show turns up on tv that is similar to the one you pitched. Happens all the time.

1029 days ago


Isn't this some ****. I was just talking to my friend about these ghost hunting shows before Christmas. I was saying why the **** have these shows been booming the last 7 or 8 years like ghosts/spirits are brand new or something. I actually believe these guys idea was probably stolen because I've been wondering why there hasn't been ghost hunting shows prior to the 2000's except the one or two back in the 90's. Only problem is WGA registration is pretty weak and probably won't hold up for them in court. Pilgrim sucks too.

1029 days ago


There's been many lawsuits about things like this and it's been CLEARLY established that you cannot copyright an "idea". On the other hand, this is TMZ reporting so there is probably some basic facts that they got wrong.

1029 days ago


TAPS was founded in 1990. So it would be hard to sue the guys who are filmed for the show that Craig Pilgrim and NBC created. The fact it took so long to get litigation this far makes me think he has a case to win the suit.

1029 days ago


oh so these guys are also plumbers by day and ghost hunters by night life jay and grant. Bull ****. not the same idea. you guys just want money. puh-leaz

1029 days ago



1029 days ago


1981? thats the year we first got cable installed in our house and i know there sure as hell was no such thing as reality TV back then!
i wish these cry babies would stop bawling about who came up with what first?

1029 days ago


ok 1981???? A LITTLE LATE NOW....

1029 days ago
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