HBO Docu Targets Talk

Next month the trial of Jonathan D. Schmitz begins in Michigan. Schmitz is the accused murderer of Scott Amedure, in a case that captured headlines after the prosecutor in the case claimed the homicide was the result of an edition of “Jenny Jones.” On the show in question, dubbed “Secret Admirers,” Schmitz, who says he’s straight, was surprised to find his secret admirer was Amedure, someone he knew from his hometown. Three days later Amedure was shot dead, with the object of his affection admitting he did the killing.

The “Secret Admirers” edition of “Jenny Jones” was never aired, but has been much sought-after by virtually every TV newsmag. To date, nobody has come up with the tape, which is expected to be introduced as evidence in the Schmitz trial. But Wired has heard it’s in the possession of John Parsons, who is producing a documentary on talkshows for the HBO series “America Undercover.”

Parsons won’t comment on the “Secret Admirers” tape, but does say he has been given assurances from the brass at HBO’s sister division Warner Bros., which produces “Jenny Jones,” that they’re not out to censor his report.

“Nobody is out to suppress anything on this show,” says Parsons. “What we’ve set out to do is tell the history of how talkshows have evolved, and how their evolution has mirrored changes in American society.”

Dubbed “Talk TV: In Their Own Words,” the HBO documentary is scheduled to air in April.

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