Discovery Communications Cancels Jackson Autopsy Show at Estate's Request

Discovery Communications Inc. called off plans to air a re-enactment of pop singer Michael Jackson’s autopsy, citing the request of the late entertainer’s estate and the legal case against his doctor.

“Given the commencement of legal proceedings beginning next week, and at the request of Michael Jackson’s estate, the scheduled broadcast of the medical documentary related to Michael Jackson’s official autopsy has been postponed indefinitely,” Discovery said today in a statement.

A Discovery channel in Europe had planned to air “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson” next month, John Branca and John McClain, executors of the estate, said in a letter released Dec. 29. A hearing for Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s June 2009 death, is set for Jan. 4 in Los Angeles.

Discovery, the Silver Spring, Maryland-based operator of cable TV networks, fell 10 cents to $41.70 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The Class A shares rose 36 percent in 2010.

“The co-executors of the estate of Michael Jackson are pleased that Discovery Channel made the correct decision in choosing to cancel this exploitative program,” Branca and McClain said in an e-mailed statement. “We are hopeful that this show will never run in any market in the future.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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