The winds of commerce are blowing over the Jackson family’s Hayvenhurst home.
Sources have been telling me for a couple of weeks that the Jacksons’ever productive in making money since Michael died on June 25th’are saying that ABC has made the family an offer it probably wouldn’t refuse: a stunning $25 million to turn over all their home movies, let the whole clan be interviewed exclusively by either Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer, and let the public see Michael’s children be interviewed.
According to the sources, a written offer has been made, and the family has been hashing it out. What certain members don’t want, though, is the participation of Joseph, Jermaine, or La Toya.
At ABC News, spokeswoman Cathie Levine says no one knows anything about this or has ever heard of it. Of course, ABC News does not pay for interviews. At Hayvenhurst, however, they do say it’s happening. Sources there say ABC will funnel it through another Jackson programming deal at A&E’in which ABC parent company Disney has an ownership stake’and then repurpose the material so it shows up on ABC News.
As for that $25 million figure: it does seem a tad high, even if the family produced for viewing Michael’s original nose.
Meanwhile, Point7 Entertainment of Atlanta, Ga., is putting the finishing touches on its Jackson 5 50th anniversary miniseries, which went into production last January. The show is supposed to air on A&E. Producer Jodi Gomes wouldn’t tell me when it’s supposed to start, but no one rules out the possibility of some kind of special on Michael’s birthday, August 29th.
Another option, of course, would be to scoop Sony/Columbia’s $60 million film, “This Is It,” which is set for October 30th.
According to people at Hayvenhurst, “Jodi has the run of the house.” Gomes concedes she has a close relationship with Katherine Jackson. She told me: “A lot of people would like to be in my shoes.”
It’s also unclear how many episodes the A&E miniseries is supposed to last, although, frankly, more than one hour with Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Marlon would cover the group’s history rather completely. Anything more would have to focus on Michael, and it’s hard to believe that since Michael died, A&E hasn’t been all over the Jacksons for personal stuff and access.
And still more speculation: since the Jacksons are notorious for trying to market themselves, it’s now also a question of whether they or someone they’re in business with will film Michael’s “third funeral” on August 29th at Glendale Forest Lawn. The Jacksons already had a private service at Hollywood Forest’ Lawn, then had the Staples Center memorial service. A third much publicized but “closed to the public” funeral seems superfluous unless it’s being used for some other purpose.