E! to Air Jackson Trial Re-Enactments


Wed Jan 12, 2005 01:57 AM ET

By Kimberly Speight

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - E! Networks said Tuesday it plans to give viewers a glimpse into the upcoming trial of Michael Jackson.

The company’s cable network E! Entertainment Television has partnered with U.K.-based satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting to present daily half-hour courtroom re-enactments of the pop singer’s impending trial on child molestation charges. The series will use verbatim court transcripts and actors to highlight portions of the previous day’s testimony and courtroom happenings. Jury selection for the trial in Santa Maria, Calif., is set to begin Jan. 31.

The Jackson trial announcement drew quite a strong reaction from the crowd Tuesday during the company’s portion of the Television Critics Assn. winter press tour at the Universal City Hilton. E! Networks president and CEO Ted Harbert was grilled by reporters about the appropriateness, timeliness and tone of the program.

“The tone will be deadly serious,” Harbert said. “I’m surprised that this would be so surprising to you because it’s been done before and is of obvious interest (to the public), and there won’t be any cameras in the courtroom. We’re not crossing a line that hasn’t been crossed before.”

E! previously aired daily 90-minute re-enactments of the O.J. Simpson civil trial in 1996.

Posted by SPN on 01/12 at 03:00 PM in Celebrity

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