The untimely death of DJ AM has put MTV into a delicate position over how to handle an upcoming reality show starring the artist.
MTV has shot eight episodes of "Gone Too Far," a series that followed the format of A&E's popular hit "Intervention," with DJ AM helping young addicts get sober. The network previously announced the show will premiere Oct. 5.
But with the 36-year-old found dead Friday morning in his Manhattan apartment, and with drug paraphernalia reportedly discovered at the scene, the question becomes whether MTV will still elect to air the show -- particularly if toxicology reports reveal DJ AM died from a drug overdose.
"Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein's death is an incredible loss to the music community, his friends, family and his fans, and those of us who had the privilege of working with him," MTV said in a statement. "MTV was honored to support him as he helped young people battle their own addictions. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family."
The blow comes on the heels of sister network VH1 canceling two reality series -- "Megan Wants a Millionaire" and "I Love Money 3" -- that featured contestant Ryan Jenkins, who committed suicide after purportedly killing his ex-wife.
In both the case of MTV and VH1's programs, real-life tragedy impacts the way viewers will perceive the "reality" of a reality TV show. Entertainment networks aren't very comfortable with real-life tragedy or irony. And in the case of "Gone Too Far," the show could potentially become the most tragically ironic reality series ever.
MTV could argue, however, that DJ AM's death makes airing the series more important; that demonstrating the perils of addiction is all the more timely in the wake of his death.
Talking to critics at press tour last July, DJ AM was asked about how he barely survived a plane crash last year and its effect on his sobriety.
"There's no reason why I should have lived or why I lived and they didn't," DJ AM said. "But I am alive and I'm here and I have to do something better with my life now ... I struggled for years as a drug addict and was fortunate to get help when I asked for it. I have managed to live a clean and sober life, something that takes work and something that I pride myself on. 'Gone Too Far' is my platform to help people, like I was helped - by giving back in a way."