A&E, already home to “Hammertime” and “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” is in talks to bring another iconic music family to the small screen. The channel known for reality programming and “CSI: Miami” reruns could air a show with the Jackson family that had been commissioned months before [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson’s[/artist] death.
The network has already filmed a one-hour special starring the late King of Pop’s brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, that could serve as the pilot for a potential series. Producers have wrapped shooting footage of the Jackson family members discussing the recording of a new album and the plans for a reunion tour, according to Dan Silberman, the vice president of publicity for A&E.
“The show revolved around them getting back together and doing a record,” he said, noting that another brother, Randy, was not involved in the footage shot, which also didn’t feature sisters Janet, Rebbie or LaToya. The only other Jackson to appear on camera so far was family matriarch Katherine, though Silberman said it is not known if any of the other family members, including patriarch Joe Jackson, would have been involved at some point.
Silberman said the Jackson family came to the network with the concept for the show, which A&E still plans to air as a one-off special at a yet-undetermined time. The network has already begun internal discussions about what to do with the footage and is in talks with the Jackson family about what direction to take the show. “The plan was always for this to be a special with the possibility that it could turn into a series,” Silberman said. “We’ve begun speaking to the family, but there is no conclusion yet as to what will happen.”
A&E announced the pact with the Jacksons earlier this year. Silberman said it was too early to comment on whether the show, tentatively titled “The Jackson Family,” would air in time to coincide with a Jacksons reunion show that was scheduled to take place in Texas in the summer of 2010. Michael Jackson was sued by that gig’s promoter, who claimed that Jackson’s planned This Is It run of 50 shows at the O2 arena in London breached a contract he’d signed to appear at the family reunion event.
Producers have not shot any additional footage since Jackson’s death on June 25, and while the program purports to show the Jackson clan in the throes of their own comeback attempt after decades out of the spotlight, the lack of any footage dealing with Michael Jackson’s death leaves a narrative hole that will likely have to be addressed before it can air.
“Ideally, it would deal with the Jackson death, but we can’t say with certainty [if it will],” Silberman said.
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