CBS will add more pop royalty to the rebroadcast of “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration,” set to air Jan. 9 against the American Music Awards on ABC. The rerun of the network’s successful November sweep special will feature new footage, including the King of Pop’s duet with pop queen Britney Spears on Jackson’s 1987 hit “The Way You Make Me Feel,” as well as a performance by Lil’ Romeo.
The star-power duet between Jackson and Spears was not included in the original broadcast as a result of the increasingly tough exclusivity agreements that networks are placing on top music acts. Jackson has been at the center of several such disputes in recent weeks.
Spears briefly dropped out of Jackson’s Sept. 10 anniversary concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden because of her exclusive deal with HBO that prohibited her from appearing anywhere else on television within a month of her live HBO concert special Nov. 18, sources said. She rejoined the star-studded lineup days before the event after reaching an agreement that her performance would not be included in CBS’ televised Jackson special Nov. 13.
Also in November, Jackson became the subject of a battle for exclusivity between ABC and CBS. At the last minute, ABC had to cut his performance out of its broadcast of the “United We Stand” concert special, which aired Nov. 1. The snip was made at the singer’s request after CBS had suggested that Jackson’s Nov. 13 CBS special might have to be delayed if he had appeared so recently in a competing network’s show.
In yet another exclusivity battle that erupted last week, Jackson and Spears are both cited in the lawsuit against Recording Academy chief Michael Greene filed this month by Dick Clark, producer of the AMAs. The suit alleges that Jackson this year and Spears two years ago pulled out of the AMAs because of pressure from the academy, which has a policy that if an artist performs during the AMAs’ January ceremony, that artist will be barred from performing on February’s Grammy Awards telecast.