It turns out Michael Jackson that will be performing the night of the American Music Awards. It just won’t be on ABC.
CBS announced plans Friday to rebroadcast last month’s hugely successful Jacko 30th anniversary special Jan. 9 from 9-11 p.m. — directly opposite the Alphabet web’s annual Dick Clark-produced music kudocast. Clark last week sued National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences topper Michael Greene for preventing artists — including Jackson — from performing at the AMAs for fear of being banned from the Grammys.
Jackson had told AMA producers he’d be there to perform at next month’s kudocast but backed out a few weeks later, citing Grammy politics as the reason.
A CBS spokesman said the scheduling of the Jackson repeat was not a response to Clark’s suit. Indeed, he said the rebroadcast date was set in early December, before Clark’s lawsuit was filed.
Eye programmers, however, are no doubt looking to put a dent in ABC’s AMA ratings: It’s unusual for a network to schedule a repeat of such a major special so soon after its original airing (although CBS is also rebroadcasting its November sweeps “I Love Lucy” anniversary spec on Jan. 2).
CBS also will try to package next month’s Jackson rebroadcast as more than just a repeat. Net is expected to include footage of Jackson performances not seen in the original telecast.
Meanwhile, viewers who choose to watch Jacko rather than the AMAs will still be able to catch the kudocast on cable. Alphabet sister cabler ABC Family will rebroadcast the AMAs on Jan. 11.