Cameras had been rolling for about six months on the A&E reality show “The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty.” Intended to capture the Jackson 5 preparing for a 40th anniversary reunion celebration, a very public and very tragic plot twist changed those plans on June 25.
“To lose a sibling, it is very, very tough,” says Jermaine Jackson of the death of his younger brother, Michael. “We’re finding it tough to sort of hear the old music and just to look at certain things, certain old footage, because it brings back a lot of memories — especially for Jackie, myself and Marlon and Tito — because we’ll never be the Jackson 5 again. Never.”
But the show must go on, even if the reunion doesn’t.
“The fans definitely, with Michael’s passing, they wanted a closer connection,” says Jermaine, “and we felt that this would be something that Michael would want us to continue to do.”
Jodi Gomes, the executive producer of the show who is also on the phone call, says that the worldwide response to Michael’s death only strengthened their resolve to make the reality show happen.
“Michael’s death caught everybody off guard,” she says. “And we paused for a little while to give the family their privacy, but at the same time there was such a huge inundating of letters and flowers and fan mail all over the globe.”
So one would think that the point of a reality show about the Jackson 5 performing together might be moot. When the question comes up if there are plans to perform again, Jermaine begins, “Yes there…”
Gomes quickly cuts him off.
“Actually, Jermaine, can I answer that? That’s sort of a surprise ending in Episode 5,” she says. “So you kind of have to stay tuned for that.”