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Discovery Channel Cancels Michael Jackson Autopsy Show

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(credit: Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

(credit: Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Discovery Channel International has indefinitely postponed the broadcast of a show purporting to re-enact Michael Jackson’s autopsy, the company announced Friday.

The company cited the start of hearings next week in the criminal case against Jackson’s doctor and a request by the late superstar’s estate as reasons for the postponement.

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate, accused Discovery of insensitivity toward the singer’s family in a letter Wednesday demanding that the company cancel plans for the program.

They said they were especially outraged by an Internet ad for the show, “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy,” which they described as depicting a corpse on a steel gurney covered by a sheet with a hand sticking out wearing Jackson’s signature sequined glove.

Branca and McClain said Friday in a statement that Discovery seemed to be reacting to outrage from Jackson fans, in addition to their own criticisms.

“Discovery Channel made the correct decision in choosing to cancel this exploitative program. We are hopeful that this show will never run in any market in the future,” they said.

The company’s decision was first reported by celebrity website TMZ.com.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin Tuesday for Jackson’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter, after which a judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence to hold Murray for trial.

The singer died on June 25, 2009, of what was later found to be acute Propofol intoxication, with other sedatives found to have been a contributing factor.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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