Date: 6th December 2000

Did Drugs company Kill TV Movie?

Just three days before it was scheduled to begin filming a TV movie about a woman who poisoned two people by spiking their over-the-counter medication, USA Network halted the production, the online magazine Inside reported today (Wednesday).

According to the magazine, USA canceled the project after receiving complaints from pharmaceutical companies who advertise on the network.

A spokesman for Johnson & Johnson, one of the advertisers, reportedly denied that the company had threatened to pull its advertising from the channel if the film aired but acknowledged that "we didn't feel the subject matter was appropriate and communicated that to the network."

A spokesman for USA told Inside that the action was prompted by concern that the drama could inspire copycat crimes. "It was a mutual decision based on our concerns about public safety." The spokesman did not spell out who participated in the "mutual" action; however, the publication, citing unnamed insiders, said that USA chief Barry Diller played a key role.

Source: Studio Briefing