The A&E network has confirmed that the Jackson family reality special will be expanded into a full series that will reportedly feature some footage of late family icon [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist]. According to an Associated Press report, A&E confirmed that what was once intended as a one-hour special focusing on the other members of the family will now be a full series that will show the Jacksons dealing with the fallout from Michael's death.
A spokesperson for A&E could not be reached for comment at press time, but the network had previously confirmed for MTV News that the one-hour special focusing on brothers Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie and Tito as they prepare for a reunion tour was scheduled for air within the next few months and that, depending on ratings, it could turn into a series.
The AP reported that filming on the special wrapped in June, shortly before Jackson's death on June 25, and that the self-proclaimed King of Pop did not participate in the production. In a clip aired on Tuesday night on "Entertainment Tonight," family matriarch Katherine Jackson was shown at home relaxing with Jermaine, Jackie and Tito. But despite previous comments to the contrary from A&E, a correspondent for the "ET" said the Jackson program would feature the "entire Jackson clan," hinting that "sources tell us that Michael also participated in the filming."
A spokesperson for A&E said "ET" obtained the footage without A&E's consent.
Variety also reported that Michael appears in the footage. One of the show's producers, Jodi Gomes, told the paper that the brothers considered axing the show but decided to move forward on it and use it as an outlet to "communicate with their fans."
Gomes said the family had been courted for a reality series for the past five years, but the timing was never right. "We got together last summer and started to plot out the 40th-anniversary plans, and we decided it was time to do a show," she said. "But we made sure to go to a network where we could make Emmy-worthy TV." She added that a major focus of the hourlong series will be the impact of Michael's death on his family, alongside footage of the individual brothers performing solo, recording in the studio and possibly taking part in the upcoming reunion shows. She also said filming will continue next month.
A&E has not confirmed the series run and has not announced a date for the airing of the pilot.