Following the death of one of its stars, MTV has canceled a raucous reality series.
“Buckwild” star Shain Gandee, 21, was found dead April 1 along with his uncle and a friend in his vehicle. They had apparently been off- roading (or mudding) in a remote area in West Virginia. Carbon monoxide poisoning was ruled the cause of death by the local sheriff, most likely from the vehicle’s tailpipe being stuck in the mud.
The show’s second season was suspended after Gandee’s death, and grief counseling was available on location for the cast, crew and their families. Danny Jones, the Charleston, West Virginia, mayor, urged MTV to cancel the show because he said it enhanced negative stereotypes already existing in the area.
MTV executives had hoped the show could fill a void that “Jersey Shore” had left after its finale. The show did not reach “Shore’s” rating heights, but drew 2.5 million viewers for its premiere in January. Castmembers negotiated their contracts for the second season, and went from $1,000 an episode to $4,000 and a $5,000 bonus for season two.
Executives had also apparently considered toning down the show in the wake of Shandee’s death.