Last October, I brought you the story of “Real World” alum John Devenanzio suing HBO and the creator of “Entourage” over their use of the name Johnny Bananas in a show-within-the-show starring Kevin Dillon’s character, Johnny Drama. I found the entire concept of someone from “The Real World” suing someone from “Entourage” over character issues to be hilarious from top to bottom. Well, I have two important updates about this groundbreaking case: 1) The case has been dismissed. 2) I still find the whole thing pretty hilarious.
In the lawsuit, Devenanzio charged HBO, parent Time Warner and Entourage creator Doug Ellin with featuring an “unwarranted, unauthorized and unfavorable mention of plaintiff’s name and personality and allusions to plaintiff’s physical and mental character.”
HBO responded by saying that Devenanzio had a “fundamental misunderstanding of the law governing publicity and privacy rights.” The network asserted that nicknames are not protected under New York law, that the plaintiff had failed to establish a connection between his identity and what he saw on the show and that the plaintiff’s lawsuit failed because the nickname wasn’t used in advertising and thus didn’t meet the “commercial” bar for such a claim.
Ultimately, though, Billings gave HBO a victory on a less sexy technicality. The episodes in question started airing on Aug. 15, 2010, and Devenanzio didn’t bring the claim until Oct. 3, 2011. The one-year statute of limitations window had closed, so the judge finds the lawsuit to be less “Johnny Bananas” and more “Johnny Rotten.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
What a bummer — both the way the lawsuit ended and that horrible, horrible joke at the end of the third paragraph of the blockquote. All of it has left me so unsatisfied. I mean, sure, win however you can win and get out cheap and fast and all that, but this trial had SO MUCH potential. They could filled the jury box with water and turned it into a hot tub. They could have called tons of bimbos and bros as witnesses. The cast of “The Real World” could have gotten in a fight with the cast of “Entourage” on the courthouse steps. The lawyers could have shouted things like “OBJECTION! THE WITNESS IS A DICK!” There could have been fist bumps galore and raging post-trial parties with beer pong and strippers and such. It would have been great.
My point here is that the second season of “Franklin & Bash” premieres Tuesday, June 5th at 10 p.m.