VH1 Killer Strikes Again: Two Shows Canceled

The VH1 killer has claimed two more victims: "Megan Wants a Millionaire" and "I Love Money 3."   "We’re sad to announce that the fate of both ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire’ and ‘I Love Money 3’ (has) been determined," the network said in a brief posting to its official blog Monday. "Both have been canceled […]

Last Updated: August 24, 2009 @ 4:39 PM

The VH1 killer has claimed two more victims: "Megan Wants a Millionaire" and "I Love Money 3."

 

"We’re sad to announce that the fate of both ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire’ and ‘I Love Money 3’ (has) been determined," the network said in a brief posting to its official blog Monday. "Both have been canceled and will not make it to air."

 

The cancellations were not unexpected. The Associated Press had reported the yanking of "Megan" on Friday, while the New York Times indicated Sunday that "Money 3" would not be seen.

 

Both shows featured appearances by Ryan Jenkins, the Canadian man suspected of killing model Jasmine Fiore earlier this month. Jenkins was found dead Sunday; he apparently hung himself, authorities said.

 

VH1 had already aired several episodes of "Megan" when it made the decision to temporarily suspend broadcast of the series. "Money 3," by contrast, wasn’t scheduled to premiere until next year.

 

Both series were produced by 51 Minds, the production company behind VH1’s "… of Love" franchise ("Rock of Love," "Daisy of Love"). While "Megan" was a semi-serious relationship, "Money 3" is a lighthearted gameshow-style competition.

 

While VH1 will take a mild financial hit from its decision to yank both shows, the cancellations won’t have a major impact on the network’s overall schedule.

What’s unclear, however, is what sort of impact the publicity surrounding the Jenkins case will have on VH1’s brand of reality fare.

 

There’s been no evidence to suggest that Jenkins’ involvement in two VH1 shows played any role whatsoever in the circumstances that led him to allegedly murder Fiore. He didn’t meet Fiore though the shows, for example.

 

Still, 51 Minds has admitted that its casting procedures should have caught the fact that Jenkins had a criminal record, including an assault conviction. Because of that, critics of the reality genre are already attempting to use the Jenkins case as proof that producers, desperate to find compelling "characters" for their shows, might be cutting corners on casting standards.

 

Defenders of the genre, however, note that there’s no upside for reality producers, since the casting of contestants with criminal records opens up producers to all sorts of public relations and legal nightmares.