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Cable Networks Set Tributes For Jackson, Fawcett

Several cable networks will air tribute programming to pop music superstar Michael Jackson and actress Farrah Fawcett, both of whom died June 25.

MTV at 11 p.m. tonight presented a special on the King Of Pop featuring celebrity interviews and exclusive Jackson appearances on its air. In addition, MTV will run Jackson's music videos throughout the night.

"It's a very sad day for me personally and MTV," Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks music and Logo group, told Multichannel News. "We've had a great wonderful, long history with Michael Jackson and it's sad to see him leave us."

For its part, VH1 is interspersing its programming with a marathon of various Jackson videos.

TV One will preempt its regular primetime schedule June 26 to air an up-to-date documentary about Jackson, who died suddenly Thursday afternoon.

The Michael Jackson Story, which celebrates the prolific career of Jackson from his start in Gary, Indiana with his brothers in the Jackson Five to the announcement of his 2009 World Tour, including rarely seen archival footage, according to the Comcast Cable and Radio One-owned, African-American targeted network.

The documentary will air at 8 p.m. and repeat at 11 p.m.

Bio Channel will celebrate his life and untimely death Saturday as part of a special Bio Remembers: Michael Jackson  The profile, which includes interviews with Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Liza Minnelli and family members La Toya Jackson, Katherine Jackson and Jermaine Jackson, aspires to paint the complete picture of the greatest pop star of all time, according to the network.

Fawcett, who died Thursday morning after a long battle with anal cancer, will be memorialized on TV Land with a tribute presentation this Saturday. TV Land will air the first two episodes of its 2005 original series, Chasing Farrah, which chronicled her daily life as one of the most recognized stars in the world, beginning at 9 p.m.
"Farrah Fawcett was much more than a Hollywood icon, but a friend and colleague," said TV Land president Larry Jones in a statement. "We are honored to have known her and worked with her and will remember her fondly. Our hearts go out to Farrah's entire family."

Bio will pay its tribute to the iconic American beauty, poster girl and star of Charlie's Angels and the acclaimed telefilm The Burning Bed, with Bio Remembers: Farrah Fawcett on June 29 at 10 p.m.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.