Reality Producer Claims Discovery, ‘Mythbusters’ Stole His Show

Jon Hotchkiss was actively trying to sell 'This vs. That' to the network

Jon Hotchkiss

Jon Hotchkiss, creator and producer of the reality series ‘This Vs. That’ has waged a public war against Discovery Channel and its top-rated show ‘Mythbusters.’

Reality TV producer Jon Hotchkiss is mad as Hell at Discovery Channel for allegedly stealing his show idea and giving it to MYTHBUSTERS.

Now he’s sharing his story with the world.

Hotchkiss — who has worked on shows including POLITICALLY INCORRECT and PENN & TELLER’S BULLSHIT — claims he began negotiating in good faith with Discovery back in 2010 about purchasing a science-based show he created called THIS VS. THAT.

But after turning over detailed information about the project (including edited episodes and a 70 page “bible” with themes for all of his episodes), Hotchkiss says the network passed on the project and incorporated his proprietary information into its more established and profitable show.

“These violations of my work are not isolated instances or accidents,” he wrote in a blistering blog post yesterday that contained links to a timeline of events and various other “proof” to substantiate his story.

“These are egregious, malicious and clearly intentional violations of my copyrighted work, intellectual property, my ideas, my thoughts, my creativity, my actual TV show — my money! By using my work, they have literally taken food from my children’s mouths. They have endangered the welfare of my family.

I invested quite a bit into making This vs That… and when the audience it’s aimed at won’t watch it because they’ve seen the material somewhere else, that is quite literally taking money from me that I would have spent to send my kid’s to college.”

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Hotchkiss was still fuming when I spoke with him earlier this morning.

“They pushed me too far,” he told me.  “It is all very upsetting.  I tried to resolve it with them reasonably.  Now I am going to do what i do, which is make a big rukos and we’ll see how that goes.  I am hoping quite frankly to shame them into settling this properly.”

Hotchkiss says he received a call from a Discovery executive last night (12/12/13) asking him to not go public with his story, but declining to offer any monetary compensation for his “stolen” work.

“Mr. Hotchkiss was told more than a year ago that his accusations about MYTHBUSTERS were unfounded,” a network rep tells

“Beyond Entertainment, which produces MYTHBUSTERS, conceived of and developed the episodes of the program that Mr. Hotchkiss claims used “his” ideas.  Both of the topics – getting passengers on and off airplanes quickly, and avoiding traffic delays – have been widely discussed and written about in the press.  His effort to tarnish Discovery and its executives in the media is unfounded and unfair.  Because he has threatened litigation, Discovery cannot comment further at this time, other than to say that the company will vigorously defend against any lawsuit.”

Who do you think is correct?  Leave us a comment below.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly