MTV is canceling its backwoods reality TV series "Buckwild" after the accidental death of one of its most popular stars, the youth-oriented US cable channel said Wednesday.
Its decision came 10 days after Shain Gandee, 21, his uncle and a friend were found dead in a Ford Bronco SUV partially submerged in a mud pit near Sissonville, West Virginia, a few hours after the three were out at a bar.
Medical examiners linked the deaths to carbon monoxide poisoning after police ruled out foul play.
"After careful consideration, MTV will not be moving forward with season two of 'Buckwild' in West Virginia," the network, part of the Viacom conglomerate that also owns CBS, said on its website.
"We love the cast and the show and this was not an easy decision, but given Shain's tragic passing and essential presence on the show, we felt it was not appropriate to continue without him."
MTV added that, with the support of Gandee's parents, it will rerun the entire first season of "Buckwild" in one go, as well as a special that features the "Buckwild" cast on a visit to New York prior to production of season two.
Described as a redneck version of MTV's cult hit "Jersey Shore," "Buckwild" -- which premiered in January -- followed the lives of nine hard-partying young adults in rugged and rural West Virginia.
MTV had commissioned a second season of the series, which averaged 3.2 million viewers, despite criticism from some quarters -- including a state senator -- that it portrayed West Virginians in a poor light.
One of the pastimes depicted on "Buckwild" was "mudding," in which Gandee and others gleefully drove pickup trucks and other off-road vehicles through deep pits of mud for the thrill of it.
"As country people, we don't golf," Gandee's cousin Ashley Gandee Lewis told People magazine. "We grab a four-wheeler and some friends and find stuff to do, whether it's rope swinging in the creek or going mudding."