MTV has decided to cancel the reality series “Buckwild,’’ nine days after the death of one of its cast members, the network said on Wednesday.
The young man who had emerged as the star of the series, Shain Gandee, died in an accident on April 1 in an incident that did not take place during the filming of the show.
MTV immediately suspended production on the series, which was filming a second season. The decision to cancel the show was reported by several media sites Tuesday night. The Hollywood Reporter published an article that included an interview with the show’s producer, J.P. Williams, who attacked MTV for the decision.
Mr. Williams told the site that MTV had made a decision last Friday to resume production of the show, only to change its mind and order it shut down on Wednesday.
“Buckwild” was a kind of rural-based “Jersey Shore,” following the interaction of a group of young people in West Virginia. MTV considered it a significant success and ordered a second season.
Part of the reason was the emergence of Mr. Gandee, who became especially popular with the show’s fans. But one of the regular elements of the show for cast members was an activity called “mudding,” which consisted of driving all-terrain vehicles off-road near Mr. Gandee’s hometown, Sissonville, W.V.
The incident that apparently caused his death was related to mudding, though not on the set. Police that the vehicle Mr. Gandee and two companions were riding in became stuck in mud and a blocked muffler caused a gas leak into the cabin. All three men died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
MTV released a statement Wednesday saying, “After careful consideration, MTV will not be moving forward with season two of ‘Buckwild’ in West Virginia. We love the cast and the show, and this was not an easy decision, but given Shain’s tragic passing and essential presence on the show, we felt it was not appropriate to continue without him. Instead, we are working on a meaningful way to pay tribute to his memory on our air and privately.’’
The network said it would run a special show on Sunday, “Buckwild: WV to the NYC,’’ which was shot before production had begun on season two, and would also present a tribute the following a day “in which we will air the entire first season of ‘Buckwild.’”
Source: NY Times, 4/10/13