Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reality Show Contestant Dies During Filming

(AP) – CBS is currently reviewing safety procedures for all of its reality shows following the death of a contestant during the filming of the series “The Estate” scheduled to air in the fall lineup.

Dan Cather, 36, of Scottsdale, Arizona was one of eight contestants competing to be the sole heir of Adam Witherspoon’s estate, which primarily was amassed through leverage trading. The estate is valued at nearly $40 million. Cather is Witherspoon’s nephew.

The show featured relatives competing against each other at both mental and physical tasks to prove their worthiness of the Witherspoon fortune. Contests included differentiating expensive and cheap wine while blindfolded, drawing a family tree without reference material, and redecorating a room in Witherspoon’s 9-bedroom house in Florida.

Cather was hauling a diesel generator on sand on Monday when he collapsed. He died in the hospital two hours later of a massive hear attack. Cather was attempting to set up a beach party during one of the competitions for the show.

Following the incident, CBS issued the following statement. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Dan Cather following his tragic death. We have discontinued production of ‘The Estate’ out of consideration for the family.”

CBS spokesperson Dana McClintock said she doesn’t expect the incident to affect other popular reality shows on CBS, such as ‘Survivor’ and ‘The Amazing Race.’ “We take safety during reality competitions seriously and are currently reviewing procedures to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep people safe. Although Dan Cather’s death is a tragedy, it proves that the proceedings in these shows are real. Viewers won’t watch the show if the danger is fake.”

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