Fans of MTV’s hit reality show Buckwild—still reeling from the death of star Shain Gandee earlier this month—learned this morning that the show would not return for its planned second season. An anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that the network came to that decision after suspending production after Gandee’s accident, reportedly due to a desire to “avoid any potential controversy”—and as acknowledgement that Gandee was the most popular cast member among the West Virginia youths the show followed. E! confirmed the news late last night.
His body and those of two other companion were found in a vehicle on April 1. Although there were some initial questions surrounding their deaths, it was later determined all had succumbed to carbon-monoxide poisoning resulting from a mud-blocked tailpipe.
Buckwild had been a breakout hit for MTV, with the first season pulling in an average of 3 million viewers for each of its 12 episodes. According to the network, it was Thursday’s top-rated original cable series for viewers 12-34. The finale of that season aired on Feb. 7 and work had already begun on the second.
But this may not be the end of Buckwild: in a follow-up with The Hollywood Reporter, the show’s producer J.P. Williams expressed anger over the decision, stating that the tragedy was insufficient grounds cancel a show, especially since the network airs shows about such controversial and serious topics as teen pregnancy. He added that he may continue to film the Buckwild cast, with a view to a potential film.
UPDATE (12:00 PM): The network told MTV News that they are “working on a meaningful way to pay tribute to [Gandee's] memory on our air” and that the tribute will air on Sunday, Apr. 14, along with the pre-planned special Buckwild: WV to the NYC, which had been already been filmed. The tribute to Gandee, made with the support of his parents, will also follow a Buckwild marathon in his honor.