Fox’s new show ‘Touch’ stars Kiefer Sutherland as an ex-journalist who befriends a young mute boy with an uncanny ability to predict the future. But, according to author Everette Hallford, the idea behind the show was stolen from his novel ‘Visionary’.
Hallford filed a federal lawsuit this week against both Fox and Sutherland claiming that the idea for ‘Touch’ was taken directly from his novel and screenplay. The 2008 novel ‘Visionary’ is about a “slacker journalist” who meets an autistic child with strange powers. Okay… sounds similar but that’s not the end of it according to Hallford. Hallford points out the similarities in the two boys’ special abilities. They can both see into the future and have to communicate through their own crypted means. He says “dozens of identical events that occur in virtually the same sequence” in both ‘Touch’ and ‘Visionary’. He even goes on to claim that the young boy’s name in ‘Touch’ was inspired by his novel. In ‘Visionary’, Hallford discusses the theories of physicist David Bohm. And in ‘Touch’, the young boy’s name… Jacob Bohm.
Hallford believes that Tim Kring, the creator of ‘Touch’, came across his ideas in 2009. During that year, Hallford was spending a lot of time taking care of his newborn granddaughter at the New York Children’s Hospital. At the hospital, Hallford met a bioethics representative who claimed to be friends with Kring. Since Kring had created the show ‘Heroes’ for NBC, Hallford wanted to meet him. That meeting never came about, but Hallford did give both is book and a link to his adapted screenplay called ‘Prodigy’ to be passed along to Kring. Thus Hallford believes that there is a “reasonable possibility” that Kring saw his work. Hallford’s lawsuit is seeking both monetary damages as well as an injunction on the show.
‘Touch’ had a special premiere episode back in January. That episode re-airs tonight on NBC at 9pm EST. Then the regular series is set to begin next Thursday on March 22.