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July 23, 2019

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Court filing reveals Rehab reality TV show has been canceled

Paris Hilton Hosts 2010 Rehad Opening

Erik Kabik/Retna/

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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