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Jackson Reality Special Predating Michael's Death May Air on A&E

July 14, 2009 9:02 AM ET

A reality special starring the Jackson family — but not Michael — that was filmed before the King of Pop's death might air on A&E, MTV reports. The one-hour special was filmed as brothers Tito, Marlon, Jermaine and Randy Jackson were attempting to plan a new record and reunion tour. While production wrapped on the one-off episode, A&E might expand the episode into an entire series if the Jacksons sign off on it. "The plan was always for this to be a special with the possibility that it could turn into a series," A&E vice president of publicity Dan Silberman told MTV. "We've begun speaking to the family, but there is no conclusion yet as to what will happen."

As Rock Daily previously reported, the Jackson brothers were trying to recruit both Michael and Janet to appear in some capacity for a Jackson reunion show, with Jermaine going as far as saying a Jackson 5 reunion was on. Michael quickly shot down the rumors, saying in a statement, "My brothers and sisters have my full love and support, and we've certainly shared many great experiences, but at this time I have no plans to record or tour with them. I am now in the studio developing new and exciting projects that I look forward to sharing with my fans in concert soon."

When Michael and AEG Live announced their This Is It! concerts in London, the organizer of the planned Jackson reunion promptly sued Michael, saying the AEG deal broke contract for a planned one-off concert at Dallas' new Cowboys Stadium in 2010, which the airing of The Jackson Family special was supposed to coincide with.

Sisters Janet, Rebbie and La Toya Jackson also had no involvement with the reality special, but that will likely change as the focus of the show — if it were to get the go-ahead for a full season — would shift focus on the death of Michael Jackson and not the planned Jackson album and tour. "Ideally, it would deal with the Jackson death, but we can't say with certainty [if it will]," Silberman told MTV. Thus far, no footage for the show has been filmed since Jackson's death from sudden cardiac arrest on June 25th.

Related Stories:
Jermaine Jackson Says Jackson 5 Reuniting For Tour, Album
AEG Starts Planning a Michael Jackson This Is It! Tribute Concert
Michael Jackson Remembered: Inside Rolling Stone's Special Issue

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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