Comcast/NBC/Universal network G4 has pulled this week’s episode of its new series “Proving Ground,” and execs are having discussions about its future, after one of its two stars –“Jackass” regular Ryan Dunn – died early Monday morning in a car crash.
Police in southeastern Pennsylvania have confirmed Dunn, 34, was driving the 2007 Porsche that left the road and burst into flames near the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester. Speed may have been a factor; Dunn and an as-yet unidentified passenger were killed, the Associated Press reported.
“The show is off the schedule as of today until we discuss next steps,” a G4 spokeswoman told The TV Column.
Nine half-hour episodes had been shot on “Proving Ground,” which had premiered just last week. Only 31,000 people checked out the first episode last Tuesday.
In the show, “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 if they could really work in the “real” world. You know, like spinning a web and swinging from it, a la Spiderman.
“All of us at G4 are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic news that Ryan Dunn has passed away. Ryan’s comedic wit and signature no-holds-barred approach made him an incredible talent and his work on G4’s Proving Ground was flawless,” the cable network said Monday in a statement.
But Dunn was best known for being a member of MTV’s “Jackass” TV series and movies, becoming the hero of young guys when he inserted a toy car in his rectum and then went to a hospital emergecy room with a fabricated story about strange pain he’s experiencing since passing out at a frat party.
Calling Dunn “a beloved member of the MTV family,” that cable network – which is not part of the Comcast/NBC/Universal family – tweeted Monday that it was “deeply saddened by the passing” of Dunn, adding, “Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”
Here’s footage from Dunn on the show: