Is Kiefer Sutherland’s New TV Series ‘Touch’-ed By a Lawsuit?
We understand that some series need to be taken off the air because of public relations nightmares like piles of dead horses on a set, but will FOX's Kiefer Sutherland vehicle 'Touch' ever even get a chance to get off the ground? Mere weeks after the show aired its well-received pilot episode, and days before getting ready to air its full season, 'Touch' has reportedly come under fire from an author who claims the TV series might have pilfered his work.
According to The Hollywood Reporter. 'Touch' tells the story of a former journalist (Sutherland) desperate to connect to his Autistic son, whom he discovers may have some kind of extra-sensory awareness of life and the universe itself. That description seemingly flies just a little too close to Everette Hallford novel 'Visionary,' described as follows:
Slacker reporter Jim Jacobson is sent to cover the visit of the mystic-prophet figure, Nigel Fox. Jacobson's skepticism is exceeded only by his self-doubt and remorse about his own life and roots. Before the day is over, he will be hurled into an adventure that spans sixty years of history, the events of a world war and a beautiful and ill-fated love affair set in the backdrop of eastern Orthodox spirituality.
Hallford alleges that during 2009 visitations to his granddaughter at a New York City children's hospital, he made contact with a bioethics representative claiming to have ties to 'Touch' creator Tim Kring. The author never got the chance to participate in a meeting with Kring, but sent along a copy of the book and a link to his website's screenplay adaptation 'Prodigy.' Hallford claims there to be a "reasonable possibility" Kring saw both.
Hallford also points out certain plot similarities between the two works, including an 11-year-old autistic boy with special powers and an intimate knowledge of the interconnectedness of all things , a failed-journalist widowed father, similarities in the boy's special powers, notably communication through a crypted medium and the ability to see into the future. Hallford also believes 'Touch' got its characters names Martin and Jacob Bohm from his book's mention of theories from physicist David Bohm.
This isn't the first time Tim Kring has faced accusations of this nature, as in 2010 'Heroes' fourth season came under fire with a $50 million lawsuit that claimed the theft of an almost "virtually identical" graphic novel. In that case however, the author lost his case and was ordered to pay upwards of $100 thousand dollars to NBC. Hallford himself is seeking an injunction and statutory damages for FOX's broadcast of 'Touch.'
Hmm, is the second time that Tim Kring faces accusation of plagiarism hitting a little too close to the mark? Do you think the similarities between both works warrant a court case? Tell us what you thought about the pilot of 'Touch,' and give us your own conspiracy theories in the comments!