U.S. broadcaster Fox is no longer going ahead with its planned live special, which was to mark the 40th anniversary of legendary daredevil Evil Knievel’s failed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.
As previously reported, Jump of the Century was to feature two rivals – stuntman Eddie Braun and daredevil Big Ed Beckley – trying to succeed where Knievel failed; one driving a rocket and the other on a rocket-powered motorbike.
But with the broadcast date of October 27 looming and project progress not where it wanted it to be, Fox has decided to cancel.
“Due to production timelines and budget concerns, we have decided not to move forward with the Jump of the Century,” a Fox spokeperson told realscreen.
Beckley, who acquired the rights from the Idaho Department of Lands to reproduce Knievel’s stunt for a fee that approached US$1 million, announced the network’s decision on his blog on Tuesday.
“We received the final word on Tuesday evening the executives at Fox TV have back away from the Snake River Canyon Jump,” he wrote. “We will not sacrifice safety, our integrity, and our just reward for attempting a real motorcycle jump over the Canyon.
“We are now seeking other media partners and we are undaunted by this development because it is in God’s hands. We have followed His lead from the start and whatever He has in store for us, whatever it may be, we are along for the ride.”
In a later post, Beckley said he understood Fox’s decision.
“This is purely a business decision and they have to justify the costs and weight the profitability. I get it and I understand because I am a business man.”
Fox announced its televised stunt plans at its May Upfront presentation, several days after Discovery announced the cancellation of their planned Everest Jump Live, following an avalanche that killed three Sherpa guides.