"Ballers" executive producers Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg are being sued for copyright infringement over the HBO series. According to the amended complaint, submitted on Tuesday, the plantifs in the case are asking for $200 million in damages.
The actors, HBO; and the production companies involved in the show are accused of stealing the idea for the show from screenwriters Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton. They say the premium cable channel's NFL themed show "borrows heavily" from a show they made in 2007 called "Off Season" and the smoking gun in their case is the fact that they actually pitched the show to Wahlberg and his team in 2009.
Silas and Littleton claim that the plot, theme and overall mood of the HBO series is similar to those of "Off Season": They both center on the off-season lives of professional football players ND follow an African American businessman "trying to monetize his friendships" with other players and athletes to grow his business in Miami. They also claim that the characters are "strikingly similar," and their main character has "traits that can be seen in several characters in 'Ballers.'"
When the lawsuit was originally filed in December of 2015 HBO released a statement saying the lawsuit "has no merit".
The network plans to bring the show back for a second season starting this summer.