11:01pm PT by Lacey Rose
'Buckwild' Producer Rips MTV: 'This Will Get Ugly' (Exclusive)
The sudden cancellation of MTV’s hit reality series Buckwild following star Shain Gandee’s death has producer J.P. Williams livid.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter late Tuesday, Williams, who manages most of the cast members and produces the show, took particular aim at MTV for pulling the plug midway through filming on the second season.
"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?” he fumes. “There's something that smells of s--- here on every level."
Reps for MTV could not immediately be reached for comment.
News of the show’s cancellation comes a week or so after Gandee, 21, was found dead April 1 in his vehicle, along with his uncle and a friend, after going off-roading, or “mudding,” on a remote road in West Virginia. The local sheriff’s office ruled the death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The network had suspended production as it considered whether to continue the hit series, which was intended to fill a void left by one-time juggernaut Jersey Shore.
According to Williams, his Beverly Hills-based Parallel Entertainment along with production company Zoo Productions were informed Friday that MTV would be moving forward with the series. At that time, the network had four episodes in the can and was planning to shoot four more, plus a special dedicated to Gandee to kick off the season. But Williams says MTV brass followed up Tuesday with a different message for the show’s producers: The network had opted to cancel the series instead.
“There was no explanation,” he says, still bewildered. He adds that the cast, which had planned to come to Los Angeles for the MTV Movie Awards this weekend, had not been informed of the news. The network is expected to formally announce the show’s cancellation Wednesday morning. A special, which was shot before Gandee’s death and was produced by an outside production company, is still expected to air.
Williams, who manages eight of the show’s cast members, including Gandee, does not intend to move on to other projects. In fact, he suggests that he will continue shooting the series and will look to produce a Buckwild film, which he would self-finance if need be. "My job is to protect these kids,” he tells THR, adding: “This will get ugly.”