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December 22, 2014

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Court filing reveals Rehab reality TV show has been canceled

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Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com

Paris Hilton hosts the 2010 Rehab pool party opening at the Hard Rock Hotel on April 25, 2010.

Rehab party at Hard Rock (2008)

A UCLA law student, Carrie Richeu, nibbles strawberries poolside with friends during a Rehab in late June. Launch slideshow »

The truTV reality show “Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel” won’t be returning for a fourth season, attorneys have disclosed.

The disclosure was made last week in court papers by attorneys for the Las Vegas Hard Rock hotel-casino, which hosts Rehab day parties during the summer and was hit with a trademark lawsuit over the TV show in September by the owner of the international Hard Rock brand.

Hard Rock Cafe International charged in the September lawsuit that the TV show about the Las Vegas parties was tarnishing the Hard Rock brand by portraying “drunken debauchery, acts of vandalism, sexual harassment, violence and criminality.”

The Las Vegas hotel-casino, controlled by Swiss financial giant Credit Suisse Group AG and minority investor Morgans Hotel Group of New York, initially responded to the lawsuit by filing a counterclaim saying the lawsuit was motivated by an underlying business dispute with Hard Rock International.

The Las Vegas Hard Rock charged Hard Rock International — controlled by Florida’s Seminole Indian tribe and with extensive casino interests — had engaged in “systematic legal and business harassment” of the Las Vegas company involving its properties in Las Vegas as well as Albuquerque, N.M., and Tulsa, Okla.

“The heart of the business dispute is that the (Las Vegas) Hard Rock defendants enjoy a permanent, exclusive, royalty-free license to use the Hard Rock marks in connection with the hotel-casino and casino businesses in the western United States and certain other locations (the ‘Morton territories’ after Hard Rock co-founder Peter Morton),” Las Vegas Hard Rock attorneys said in a court filing. “Frustrated that it cannot use, or benefit from the use of, these marks in the Morton territories, Hard Rock Cafe now asks this court for the rights that its predecessors expressly bargained away.”

The latest twist came last week when attorneys for the Las Vegas property revealed the TV series has been terminated, though they didn’t say why or whether it was related to the litigation.

The actual Rehab pool parties at the Las Vegas Hard Rock are unaffected by the lawsuit and the Las Vegas hotel-casino is taking cabana, day bed and lounge chair reservations for the eighth season of Rehab, the party, which is likely to begin in April.

Requests for comment on the TV show’s cancellation were left Friday with Turner Broadcasting System of Atlanta, owner of truTV, and show producer Brad Lachman Productions Inc. of Burbank, Calif.

“There can be no clearer example of Hard Rock Cafe International trying in vain to turn a business dispute into a lawsuit than the claim that the Rehab television show is a breach of the ‘best efforts’ (to protect the brand) provision of the license agreement,” attorneys for the Las Vegas company said in their filing. “Rehab was a successful reality television show, since terminated, about the spectacular weekly pool parties held at the (Las Vegas) Hard Rock defendants’ Las Vegas hotel-casino. Defendants believe the show was an enormous net benefit to the Hard Rock brand.”

“One only has to flip channels on a television to know that, in recent years, reality programming has exploded in popularity — in particular, reality shows that focus on real-world business ventures. The (Las Vegas) Hard Rock defendants made a business decision several years ago: To take advantage of this trend by allowing defendants Lachman and Turner to make and air a reality show focusing on the popular Rehab parties that are held on Sundays in good weather at the pool complex of the Hard Rock Hotel Casino Las Vegas,” the Las Vegas company’s filing said. “If this litigation goes forward, the Hard Rock defendants expect to prove, among other things, that the Rehab parties have been a huge success, drawing large and profitable crowds, inspiring copy cat ventures at other Las Vegas properties, and even inspiring a whole new entertainment segment called ‘daylife’ for the Las Vegas market. The (Las Vegas) Hard Rock defendants also expect to prove that the reality show — now terminated after a three-season run — was a huge hit that increased attendance and revenue for the Rehab parties, while providing enormous net benefits for the hotel-casino and the Hard Rock brand.”

Attorneys for the Las Vegas hotel-casino with the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP also said in their latest filing that many of the disputes between the Las Vegas company and Hard Rock International should be submitted to arbitration rather than be part of the pending lawsuit.

“The allegations related to the Rehab show in Hard Rock Cafe International’s complaint expressly call into question the quality of this promotional material by alleging that the program portrays the Las Vegas property as a destination that permits certain objectionable conduct by guests and staff. What the cafe alleges, in substance, is a failure by the (Las Vegas) Hard Rock defendants to ensure that the Rehab show conformed to quality standards. This is the sort of complaint that logically can and should have been remedied during the life of the show, through a process of inspection, complaint and reform — i.e., a quality control claim and therefore subject to mandatory arbitration,” the attorneys wrote.

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  1. Dennis,

    Those same people that you want to chase off to California are the ones paying for your life here in Las Vegas. Tourists, that is what this town is about.

    Just because it is not your crowd does not make it wrong.

  2. A lot of the craziness on that show was scripted anyway.

  3. Howard Hughes, Elvis, Binion, Bugsy, did they have a problem related to substances??

    As VL states, Vegas & Nevada were built on people's vices, quickie marriage and divorce, gambling, boxing...things you couldn't do anywhere else. Now Metro has made us less liberal than California, etc. when it comes to Marijuana Laws.

    Paris Hilton should be given credit for looking good in a bikini. She never should have been arrested.

    Doesn't George Bush admit to having a drinking problem in his new book? Didn't he and his minion do the bar seen, into his 30's? The Bush girls? Swaggart, Ensign, Vider, etc. oh Limbaugh?? turn over any Republican Leaf and you'll find a hypocrite?

    Merry Christmas to brother Pat Robertson, his view on marijuana are more enlightened than Obama-Biden...stay away from the kava while in Hawaii.

  4. The defenders TV show is toast too. Guess people are not attracted to Vegas stuff anymore...the Internet gaming might have helped, but the Republicans like Ensign wrecked it.

  5. The employees were not portrayed with integrity or professionalism.

  6. Stupid stuff.

    Who would want to get in that nasty water anyway?

    These resorts have become something unlike anything they used to be.

    Las Vegas pretty much got ruined for me by all the insanity.

  7. 99% of that show was scripted. Incredibly horrible acting on that show. Just like operations repo and numerous other shows that are scripted trying to pretend to be real. Good riddens.

  8. I agree with ron, these "reality" shows tend to evolve into 90% scripted events involving an impossible to please high strung boss or supervisor and "employees" constantly trying to undermine their efforts. Throw in the sideshow of drunken customers and "presto" we have a show.
    Sometimes "entertaining" but very light on "reality".
    I really have no problem at all with a business having such pool parties and squeezing every dollar they can out of willing customers (California 22 year olds) who wait in line for hours for the "honor" of seeing some untalented Hollywood nobody (surrounded by security). Just don't expect me to go anywhere near it. If a fool wants to pay to enter and pay large money for drinks, I say let them.
    I agree with denro, the combination of thousands of people drinking lots of alchohol, and a pool, makes for one obvious unwanted "additive" to the pool water.
    Not sure where politics enters into it, but mred finds a way. mred, at least you guys are equal opportunity, willing to elect lousy Senators from each party.