April 10, 2013 at 11:37 AM ET
"Buckwild" has been canceled following the death of cast member Shain Gandee, MTV confirms. The series, which finished its first season in January, suspended production after the April 1 deaths of Gandee, his uncle and a friend, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while they were out "mudding."
"After careful consideration, MTV will not be moving forward with season two of 'Buckwild' in West Virginia," the network said in a statement. "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."
That tribute includes plans on Sunday to run a special episode, "Buckwild: WV to the NYC," which was shot before production had begun on season two. That episode will follow a full day's worth of "Buckwild" programming, in which the entire first season will air.
Gandee's mother Loretta Gandee issued a statement via MTV saying, "Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time for our family. 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. 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."
While the Gandees appear to be at peace with MTV's plans, a producer for the show is angered by the decision to suspend filming of the second season. J.P. Williams, who also represents many of the cast members, lashed out to The Hollywood Reporter: "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 s--- here on every level."
Williams said that his company Parallel Entertainment was told on April 5 that MTV would be moving forward with the series, but on Tuesday Williams says he was told by MTV executives that they were canceling instead.
"There was no explanation," he said.
Williams says he will forge on with the series and may self-finance a "Buckwild" film if he has to.
"My job is to protect these kids," he said. "This will get ugly."
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