Trademark Show History

The Road to "The Real Estate PROS"

"I started the genre, and everybody's been trying to copy me ever since," Davis said. "At the end of the day, real estate is the American dream. You had little home fix-up shows, but nobody ever showed you the business side of it."[1]

Richard Davis of Trademark Properties, had the original idea for a TV show that would later evolve in to the series on A&E titled, "Flip This House". Initially the show was titled, "Worst to First", which Davis registered with the Writer's Guild in 2003.

It appears the problems with A&E began from the start of the series in that Richard dealt with many different people, and was never provided with clearly worded and printed documentation of the business relationship. Given A&E's failure to provide this documentation, Richard began looking elsewhere for a place to host his show.

"They [A & E] did a casting call after I moved networks; they are trying to 'act' like my real company. I can't comment much further but I will tell you this, they will not steal my show:) you can't do my show without my team, you can try and copy but I still own the show, read the credits 'created by Richard C Davis.' I took it to them, they owe me many dollars, the rest will come out in court."[2]

Richard and the Trademark Team landed at The Learning Channel, debuting in April of 2007, with a new show entitled, "The Real Deal". The success of the show was quickly noted in the press. "The Real Deal" filled the slot previously held by "Trading Places". Ratings revealed "The Real Deal" enjoyed a full 50% more viewers than its time slot predecessor.

About three to four weeks into the season, indications of a yet another name for the show emerged. On some TV listings, and even erroneous posts by administrators of the TLC Discussion board, announced a new name: "The Property King". This name floated around here and there, to be followed many weeks later by the mysterious arrival of yet another new name, "The Real Estate Pros". Apparently, though not confirmed, this was a decision by TLC to give the show a title that more aptly described its subject matter.

The court case with A&E is pending and being covered in much detail by Mark Lyon, a fan of the show, with a background in law. He posts regular updates at FlipThisLawsuit.com about the case, as well as other interesting facts about related topics.

The validity and earnestness of Mark's site was reflected in the ongoing court case itself, as the judge questioned the effect of the site.

"That could involve asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the U.S. Attorney's Office to look into who runs the site and why, the judge said.

"We're not in Boy Scout camp here," Houck told those in attendance, basically the attorneys in the case and Davis. "This is a serious court and we don't do business that way."

The site's owner, Mark H. Lyons of Florence, Miss., told Grapevine last week that he's not trying to disrupt the case. Further, he has never met Richard Davis, he said. "I certainly wouldn't want to hamper the case," he said. "The information I provide is all public information.""[3]

The legal cloud over A&E was further amplified by allegations of fraud made against Sam Leccima, a cast member in later "Flip this House" shows, after Trademark left.

All the heightened legal tensions are perhaps one of the reasons A&E, TLC and Trademark Properties fail to provide much of online community or open forum for fans to discuss the show.

 

Links of Interest

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