UP Pulls '7th Heaven' Amid Collins' Sex Scandal
UP TV said Tuesday that it is pulling reruns of acquired series 7th Heaven" from its programming schedule in light of media reports that series cast member Stephen Collins is the subject of a criminal investigation involving sexual contact with minors.
Collins is the target of an ongoing child molestation probe into activities that allegedly happened 40 years ago, according to CNN.com. The actor has already been let go from acting in the upcoming movie Ted 2, according to CNN.com.
Collins played a minster and father of seven children in the series, which premiered on the WB network in 1996 and ran for 11 seasons on the WB and its eventual repleacement, the CW network.
The show, which airs over 21 hours weekly on UP's schedule, was due to run in six-hour marathon block tonight. Instead, the network will run a Supernanny marathon beginning at 5 p.m.. Beginning tomorrow Touched By An Angel will run in the show's regularly-scheduled weekday noon timeslot, while The Parkers will replace the series during its 1 p.m. ot 5 p.m. time slot on Saturdays, said the network.
"As a top family-friendly network, we are deeply concerned for the families that are potentially affected by these disturbing allegations surrounding actor Stephen Collins," said Charley Humbard, president & CEO of UP. "‘7th Heaven’ has been a beloved family show and a fan-favorite on our network. We have made the decision to remove the series from our schedule effective at 5 p.m. ET today. We will continue to monitor the situation and listen carefully to our viewers."
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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.