Jackson Trial Re-Enactments For E!

Jan 12, 2005  •  Post A Comment

E! will partner with British Sky Broadcasting to produce half-hour daily courtroom re-enactments of the upcoming Michael Jackson child molestation trial.

The announcement was made by E! President and CEO Ted Harbert at the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour late Tuesday in Los Angeles.

“Viewers around the world are interested in this trial, and with no cameras in the courtroom, this series will be an excellent way to keep up with the day’s events and bring the trial to life,” Mr. Harbert said.

The re-enactments will feature dramatizations based on courtroom transcripts combined with observations by a panel of legal commentators.

Mr. Harbert defended to program to critics, who reacted to the announcement with laughter and skepticism.

“I don’t think this is close to any line that hasn’t been jumped over one thousand times by many other outlets,” he said. “I understand why you’re laughing, but I also understand putting on television shows that people want to see is [my] job. This is a serious matter; this will be treated as such.”

This is the not the first time E! has produced a series of celebrity trial re-enactments. E! televised re-enactments of the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1996.

The Jackson re-enactments will be aired twice nightly during prime time during the trial. Jury selection is expected to begin later this month.

Mr. Harbert also announced that E! will join the poker show fray with “Hollywood Poker Night,” a one-hour weekly series in which actors give a tour of the their home, then host a poker session. The series is executive produced by “That ’70s Show” actress Laura Prepon, the talent management company Flutie Entertainment, Sar Chazen and Joel Klein.