MTV has canceled its reality show "BUCKWILD" following the recent death of 21-year-old cast member Shain Gandee, who will be remembered in a tribute special set to air on the cable network this weekend.
Production on the second season was underway when Gandee was found dead in his truck, along with his uncle and a friend, in his native West Virginia, where "BUCKWILD" was filmed. The three had gone "mudding," or off-roading, and had gotten stuck in a mud pit and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"After careful consideration, MTV will not be moving forward with season 2 of 'BUCKWILD' in West Virginia," the cable network said in a statement on Wednesday, April 10. "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."
Executive Producer J.P. Williams, who also served as a manager for Gandee and seven other cast members, is furious about the decision to cancel the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which quoted him as saying: "This is the network that has shows about teen pregnancy. They'll stick by a show that allows you to abandon a child, but a kid dies by accident doing what he does for a living [mudding] and they cancel the show? There's something that smells of [expletive] here on every level."
He said that he plans to continue to produce new episodes of the show and even a "BUCKWILD" movie, adding: My job is to protect these kids. This will get ugly."
MTV has not commented about William's remarks.
"He was the best son anyone could ask for"
MTV says that it will air a "BUCKWILD" marathon as well as a special titled "BUCKWILD: WV to the NYC," which includes "footage shot with "Guy Code" stars Charlamagne and Lil Duval, who visited the cast of "BUCKWILD" back home in West Virginia and then took them around New York during their first group trip to the city."
The special is set to air on Sunday, April 14 at 8 p.m. ET, following a six-hour marathon of "BUCKWILD" season 1 and an hour before the 2013 MTV Movie Awards. The program was shot before production had begun on season 2 and with the support of Gandee's parents, Dale and Loretta Gandee, the statement said.
"Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time for our family," MTV quoted Loretta as saying. "We have truly felt all the love and know that Shain is resting peacefully. Shain was an incredible, outgoing and positive person who was loved by whoever he met. We are honored that we were able to let the world see what a wonderful son we had."
"He was the best son anyone could ask for," she added. "As we look to honor him in our lives every day moving forward, we are happy to share some of his last moments doing what he loved best: having fun and making people laugh."
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