MTV has decided to scrap one of its biggest shows after the death of one of the most popular cast members.
Buckwild was a ratings smash earlier this year for MTV, with the West Virginia based reality show drawing in an average of three million viewers each week for its debut season. The second season was currently being filmed when 21-year-old star Shain Gandee tragically died 10 days ago from carbon monoxide poisoning. It's now been confirmed that MTV has decided to completely cancel the show in response to Shain's sudden death.
MTV said "careful consideration" was made when deciding whether to move forward with the show. "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," said the network in a statement.
However, MTV confirmed that they have received the "support" of Shain's parents to air all Season One episodes of the show in Shain's memory, leading up to the special Buckwild: WV to the NYC, which was shot before production on Season Two. They also announced that they will cover all of Shain's funeral expenses after his family told reporters they could not afford the cost.
Buckwild premiered last January as a redneck version of Jersey Shore that featured nine young adults in the West Virginia town of Sissonville. The show depicted them pulling stunts such as turning a dump truck into a swimming pool or riding around the woods on ATVs. Shain was portrayed as a former high school prom king that now works a series of odd jobs.
However, the show was marred with controversy from the beginning when two cast members were arrested and several state politicians called for the show to be cancelled, claiming that it portrayed West Virginians in a bad light. "I’m relieved and happy the show is cancelled, and so is everyone around here. The show does nothing for us and exaggerates every negative stereotype about us," said Charleston, West Virginia Mayor Danny Jones to TMZ.
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Photos courtesy of MTV