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CBS PULLS MICHAEL JACKSON SPECIAL

Move Follows Child Molestation Charges in California

By Published on .

WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- CBS today announced it would drop its broadcast of a Michael Jackson special next week, hours after the latest child molestation charges
Photo: AP
Michael Jackson is the subject of child molestation charges.
against the pop singer were announced by California law enforcement officials.

In a statement the network said the entertainment special, Michael Jackson Number Ones, set to air Nov. 26, would not run until after "the due process of the legal system runs its course." the special was timed to coincide with the release of the singer's greatest hits album, Number Ones.

Arrest warrant
California authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Jackson, who faces multiple charges of child molestation in Santa Barbara, Calif. Mr. Jackson issued a statement this afternoon calling the allegations "outrageous" and "false."

"Given the gravity of the charges against Mr. Jackson, we believe it would be inappropriate at this time to broadcast an entertainment special," the network said.

The controversy over Mr. Jackson would have likely made the program a major ratings draw, but would have made it difficult for CBS to keep the show's advertisers onboard and could have exposed the network to a new round of criticism from Washington.

On Nov. 4 CBS dropped plans to air a four-hour miniseries based on Ronald Reagan amid criticism from Republicans and fans of the former president that the program fictionalized and misrepresented the Reagans. The program, with some changes, will now air on Viacom sibling Showtime.

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