TODAY

TODAY   |  December 06, 2010

Reality show stunt nightmare

One of the most popular reality shows in Europe took a turn for the worse when a stuntman flipped headfirst into an oncoming car.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> let's begin with a shocking accident during a live reality tv show . nbc's peter alexander is back with more on that. peter good morning again.

>> reporter: this morning running show is hugely popular in germany. there the fans describe as a national institution. it's a show of daredevil feets. critics over the years have complained that those stunts have become increasingly dangerous. one ended in disaster. it was intended as a prime time show-stopper. daniel kaufman wearing spring loaded stills intended to flip head fest into an oncoming car, on saturday night, with a live german audience watching, he successfully jumped over two cars. the show is one of the most popular programs in all of europe for nearly 30 years. the studio audience held their both as cox prepared for his fourth attempt. this time with his father get hind the wheel, he began to jump over the car, but something went terribly wrong. nbc news is not showing the accident, but it was witnessed live by more than 10 million viewers across germany. cox landed facedown on the studio floor, motionless as paramedics rushed on to the set. the 23-year-old was immediately taken to a nearby hospital with what one doctor described as signs of paralysis. back in the studio, the show was pulled off the air, the audience stunned.

>> translator: it couldn't go on like that, this woman says, we're all shocked. the show's host spoke publicly later that night. i talked to the young man at a dinner, he reassured me he was looking forward to this, i'm so sorry it ended this way. among the celebrity guests scheduled to appear on the show, cameron deion and justin bieber who was scheduled to perform. a heart wrenching finish to what was supposed to be a night of entertainment. that young man is listed in critical condition this morning, the good news is he's said to be conscious and speaking. he did suffer serious injuries both his neck and spine. the show's producers say they're reexamining their psafety procedures.