TV Guide Network has secured the U.S. rights to a documentary about the death of Michael Jackson as part of a global TV event commemorating the anniversary of the King of Pop's death.
The network will air the two-hour Gone Too Soon, from author and filmmaker Ian Halperin, on June 25 at 9 p.m. Distributed by Shine International, Gone Too Soon is also scheduled to bow on outlets in more than 50 nations, one year after Jackson died. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Conceived as a follow-up to Halperin's 2009 New York Times best-selling book Unmasked: The Final Years Of Michael Jackson, the documentary examines the end of Jackson's life, as told by the people who attended to him each day. During the film, drawn from some 300 hours of footage shot before and immediately after the entertainer perished, Halperin, who predicted Jackson's demise six months before it happened, also speaks with some of Jackson's closest advisors to uncover what their secret thoughts and feelings may reveal about his untimely death. Gone Too Soon also includes exclusive audio and video of Jackson.
For TV Guide Network, the film marks its second big special: it ran a concert showcasing British singing sensation Susan Boyle last December.
"Michael Jackson was the biggest entertainer in the world," said Diane Robina, TV Guide Network's executive vice president of programming and marketing, in announcing the acquisition. "A year after his death, people are still fascinated with his life story. We're thrilled to participate in this global media event by presenting this gripping documentary to his fans across the U.S."
Shine International is distributing the documentary on behalf of Ian Halperin Productions and Objective Films, to air on the same day as part of a worldwide media event to commemorate Jackson's passing In addition to TV Guide Network in the U.S., it will air on the following outlets: Discovery across Latin America; Brazil's Globosat; Germany's ProSieben SAT 1 Media; Fox International Channels Italy; Fox International Channels Greece; Fox International Channels Turkey; New Zealand's Mediaworks; Romania's Antenna1; Australia's FOXTEL; Ireland's RTE; Norway's TVNorge; South Africa's MNET; TV3 in Denmark; CPI in the Philippines; and MBC across the Middle East.
"Michael Jackson remains the biggest celebrity in the world, and on the anniversary of his death, fans around the world will be given a new glimpse into his life via Gone Too Soon," said Chris Grant, president of Shine International. "At Shine International, we're always seeking breakthrough, original content that will resonate with global audiences. With this documentary airing in more than 50 countries, we've once again proven that, with our strong broadcaster relationships, we have the ability to create international TV events."