Before Michael Jackson’s death last month, A&E had been working on a one-hour special following his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy as they planned for a new album and reunion tour.
Tentatively titled “The Jackson Family,” the special was commissioned months ago and intended as a possible “backdoor pilot” for a future reality series.
It was scheduled to air sometime next year with the network taking a “wait and see” approach before deciding whether to turn it into a weekly series. But with the June 25 passing of Michael, the fate of the entire project is now up in the air.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, no additional video has been shot since the singer’s death, and the footage already in the can will now take on an elephant-in-the-room aspect with Michael’s death foremost in the minds of viewers.
It’s safe to assume that the one-hour special will be amended to reflect current circumstances. But the cable channel said Monday it has yet to decide any course of action.
“We have started discussing internally and with the family but have not yet decided what direction to take with the show,” said A&E executives, in a statement. “We are respecting the family’s wishes right now, and at the appropriate time we will all decide what direction this program to take, so stay tuned.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, producers of “The Jackson Family” had already wrapped footage that mixed day-to-day activities with one-on-one interviews in presenting the family’s current incarnation as entertainers and entrepreneurs.
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