G4 will bring back its Ryan Dunn reality series, following Dunn’s death last week — as a tribute to the “Jackass” star and out of respect for Dunn’s family, the network announced Monday.
The show will return to the lineup on July 19 – right after a special episode of “Attack of the Show” that night, in which some of Dunn’s “closest friends and colleagues” will share their thoughts and memorable Dunn moments, the network said.
Close pal Zachary Hartwell will not be among them – because he was the passenger in Dunn’s black Porsche 911 GT3 the night Dunn got behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit, careened down the road at around 130 mph, jumped a guard rail, plunged about 40 yards into a wooded area, slammed into a tree, exploded into flames, and smashed into pieces, according to cops.
Anyway, following that in-memoriam “Attack of the Show” special, G4 said it “will pay homage to Dunn’s work and respect the wishes of Dunn’s family to bring back ‘G4’s Proving Ground’.”
“Ryan was an incredible talent who will be missed tremendously by his many fans, including G4 viewers,” G4 president Neal Tiles said Monday in a statement.
“It was important to all of us at G4 to find a way to celebrate his life and pay tribute to him. With the support of Ryan’s family, we’ve decided to air the remaining episodes of ‘G4’s Proving Ground’ and give his fans the opportunity to continue watching this series that he was so passionate about.”
Nine half-hour episodes had been shot of “Proving Ground,” which premiered last week. The network had run only one episode when Dunn died. The episode first ran as a “sneak peek” during G4’s coverage of E3 (aka the annual video game conference Electronic Entertainment Expo, held at the Los Angeles Convention center) and clocked an average audience of 149,000 viewers.
When G4 re-ran the episode on June 14 and billed as the series’ “premiere,” it averaged 31,000 viewers.
The series will resume with the second episode in its original timeslot on July 19 at 8pm ET/PT.
In the show, the “risk-taking” Dunn and “gorgeous” Jessica Chobot — G4’s descriptions — worked with experts, specialists and prop masters to re-create stunts seen in films, TV shows and video games to see whether they could work in the “real” world. Of the remaining episodes, some are “dedicated to pop culture icons” such as The Goonies, Harry Potter, and “Star Wars,” the network said.