Discovery renews 'Pitchmen' reality series despite Billy Mays' death
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/15/2009
Discovery Channel announced it has renewed its Pitchmen reality series for a second season despite the sudden passing of star Billy Mays late last month.
"Because of the success of the series first season, and as a tribute to Mays' legacy, the show will continue," stated the network in announcing the renewal.
Mays was found unresponsive by his wife on the morning of June 28 at his Tampa home and was subsequently pronounced dead at 7:45AM. Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Vern Adams subsequently ruled that the likely cause of death was heart disease, however final autopsy results will not be known for several more weeks.
Pitchmen's first-season followed Mays and Anthony "Sully" Sullivan, Mays' longtime business partner and fellow master marketer, as they attempted to sell various inventions and products via test market infomercials that would determine if the product had mass-market appeal.
Discovery Channel is developing Pitchmen's second-season format with Sullivan, Mays' son Billy Mays III and Original Productions CEO Thom Beers, who produced the first season.
A premiere date for the show's second season has yet to be set.
In addition, Discovery Channel announced it will re-air Pitchmen: A Tribute to Billy Mays, a special that pays honors Mays legacy in the world of infomercials, on Friday, July 24 at 10PM ET/PT.