Jackson Is Here, There, Everywhere
And you thought the Osbournes were all over the place.
VH1 has announced it will re-broadcast British journalist Martin Bashir’s controversial documentary “Living With Michael Jackson” — which, in case you missed it, aired last week in England (where it attracted 14 million viewers), and on Thursday’s special edition of ABC’s “20/20,” where it drew a staggering 27 million viewers.
The VH1 airing is set for Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Sunday at 8 p.m. and Monday at 10 p.m.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that ABC is negotiating for a second broadcast of “Living With Michael Jackson,” preferably before VH1 airs it next weekend.
All told, the documentary doesn’t appear to have helped Jackson’s public image. In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll of 1,001 adults about their opinion of Jackson, the response was 17 percent favorable and 70 percent unfavorable.
That, of course, doesn’t mean his life wouldn’t make a great movie. And now, the USA Network is developing an unauthorized two-hour movie based on the musician’s life.
“One of the lessons that I’m trying to learn is not to ignore the obvious, and Michael Jackson is obviously one of the most popular and controversial figures of our generation,” Jeff Wachtel, USA’s executive vice president of series and long-form programming, tells Variety.
Despite all the controversy over Bashir’s documentary, the Gloved One himself will not be outdone. Jackson, 44, has announced plans to release “extraordinary scenes” his own cameraman shot while Bashir’s cameras were rolling, in which Jackson claims Bashir is shown praising the singer and complimenting his parenting skills. (Jackson slammed Bashir’s documentary, saying it was malicious and aimed to put him in a bad light.)
The New York Daily News reports, however, that the major American TV networks have refused to air Jackson’s five-minute footage, which Bashir’s producer, Granada TV, described as “clumsy.”
And in another blow to Jackson’s credibility, after he claimed in Bashir’s film that a 12-year-old Tatum O’Neal once tried (unsuccessfully) to seduce him, O’Neal, now 39, tells TV’s “Access Hollywood”: “He has a very vivid imagination. … His comments about our friendship were inaccurate.”