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NEW YORK (CAP) - Officials for the cable network MTV have announced that they will not be moving forward with plans to air the new Michael Vick reality show, Pimp My Pitbull following word that Vick has agreed to plead guilty in a U.S. dogfighting case.
"MTV values social responsibility above all else and we feel it would not be prudent at this time to air this particular reality program," said MTV President of Programming Brian Graden. "We will revisit this with the production company once Michael has completed his jail time."
The show features the Atlanta Falcons quarterback making surprise visits to dog-fighting rings around the country and working his time-tested techniques on old, beat-up dogs to try to get them back into fighting shape. While animal rights activists have vowed to boycott MTV should the show air, creator Rick Hurvitz said he doesn't see what all the fuss is about.
"It's not like we're showing actual dog fighting, per se," said Hurvitz. "The show is more about Michael and the people he meets and the magic he works. He really is the dog whisperer of our time."
With MTV stepping back, Hurvitz said other networks have begun expressing interest in airing the show, six episodes of which have already been filmed. Ironically, the lead contender to this point is MTV's sister station, VH1, which recently launched a new "How The Other Half Lives" block of reality programming.
Some of the shows slated for that programming block include:
- Sipping Whine, about a 2nd-grade teacher who spends her nights as a dominatrix
- Makin' It With Mitch, about a man who is cheating on his wife with two other women
- Hidden Hatred, about the difficulties an embedded terrorist faces trying to blend in with the American way of life
Eddie Dalva, VH1's Senior Vice President of Programming, said he thinks Pimp My Pitbull will fit right in with the rest of the reality shows the network offers.
"What VH1 does is both lead and reflect what's going on out there," said VH1 Senior Vice President of Programming Eddie Dalva. "We're not making this stuff up. These are real people doing real things, and we're making some real money off of them."
So far Vick himself has not commented on the possible loss of his show, but his lawyers say he is "taking it in stride." While the NFL star has already lost a number of endorsement deals due to the dogfighting charges, he reportedly has signed on as spokesperson for the Stubborn Dog Electric Fence And Pet Containment System.
Three of Vick's original co-defendants have already pleaded guilty, but nobody cares about them.
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