Fox To Air "Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage"

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Fox network said Monday it will air a two-hour special on the life of "Octomom" Nadya Suleman, based on footage bought from an online company that paid for access to her life.

Called "Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage," Fox has scheduled the show for 8 p.m. EDT Aug. 19.

Suleman, already a single mother of six, gave birth to octuplets Jan. 26. Curiosity about Suleman turned to some outrage after it became clear that the single, unemployed mother had been using student loans and Social Security disability payments to help pay for her children's care.

Last month, a California judge appointed a lawyer to oversee the estate of the octuplets, saying he wanted to make sure they weren't exploited by paid ventures like reality shows.

Footage of Suleman caring for her children was shot by RadarOnline, which struck its own deal with the mother for access. RadarOnline sold access to the footage to a production company, Pilgrim Films & Entertainment, for an undisclosed fee, and Pilgrim made the deal for the special with Fox.

Suleman was not involved in the deal, although Fox executive Mike Darnell said the network and Pilgrim had set up a "six-figure" account for the children.

"We thought it was the right thing to do," Darnell said.

Darnell said he didn't believe Fox was exploiting the children because the footage already existed.

Airing the RadarOnline footage lets the viewers decide for themselves what Suleman's life is like.

"That's what makes it viable," said Darnell, longtime head of Fox's reality programming.

Craig Piligian, head of Pilgrim, said the material is "really jaw-dropping in some moments, really compelling stuff." He said it was a look inside of Suleman's life and her thoughts, and the show will be aired without a host or narration.

California's Labor Commission had brought four citations against RadarOnline for its videotaping of the children. The commission said the Web site had failed to get the required state permits and had taped the infants too late at night and for too long.

A European production company is scheduled to start filming Suleman and her children, all under age 8, for a reality show on Sept. 1. The children stand to earn nearly $250,000 over three years of filming.

It's unclear what network, if any, will air that show in the United States.


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