Plans for a TV special tied to the Aug. 29 memorial to Michael Jackson ‘ which was supposed to be held at London’s O2 Arena ‘ may be dead in the water, according to sources.
I’m told that NBC was ready to pay at least $10 million to broadcast the memorial as a special. But word now is that negotiations are at an impasse over price and because of all the perceived friction among the players in the Jackson estate.
NBC Universal declined comment.
The network considered scheduling the special for 8-10 p.m. during the premiere week of Jay Leno’s new talk show, including possibly leading into the show’s premiere on Sept. 14, the day after the season launch of “Sunday Night Football.”
The $10 million fee was first offered to include the special, backstage footage and maybe even a Universal film. But with chaos involving the estate and other studios ‘ Sony and Fox, in particular ‘ offering more than $50 million for a Jackson film, NBC, other sources say, at the very least wants to lower its license fee offer “considerably.”
As I’ve said before, the problems are with Joseph Jackson, Michael’s father. Tonight he’s going on “Larry King Live,” where he’s expected to roil the waters some more by placing blame for Michael’s death just about everywhere. He’ll be accompanied by Leonard Rowe, the concert promoter who was successfully sued by R. Kelly for fraud for $3.4 million.
“What these guys don’t get is that they’re shooting themselves in the foot and hurting the Jackson family’s chances for making money,” an insider tells me.
Jackson Sr. is also ‘ depending on what he says tonight on “Larry King” ‘ possibly destroying his family’s attempt to secure custody of Michael’s children. If King asks him any tough questions about abusing Michael or disciplining his kids, Joe Jackson will hardly seem like a fit guardian.
Insiders also tell me that Katherine Jackson is “disgusted” at this point by her husband’s greed, and is starting to understand that his machinations could backfire on the whole family.