Michael Jackson’s home movies show him hanging out with his siblings, celebrating holidays, horsing around, and doing all the things you might do in your home movies — if your circle included Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, and Michael Jordan. So says Brad Lachman, producer of ”Michael Jackson’s Private Home Movies,” airing Thursday night on Fox. It’s the second Jacko special in two months for both Fox and Lachman, who produced ”Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See,” the singer’s rebuttal to Martin Bashir’s controversial and unflattering TV documentary ”Living with Michael Jackson.”
”For whatever reason, a lot of people have not seen what he’s really like,” Lachman tells USA Today. ”I found him to be an extremely charming person.” He says he and fellow producers spent six days at Neverland with Jackson, spending 14 hours a day going through the singer’s old movies. Nothing was off-limits, Lachman said.
The clips, accompanied by off-the-cuff commentary by Jackson, includes footage of the Jackson Five and their mother visiting her grandfather in Alabama 30 years ago, Michael having a water-pistol fight with sister Janet and Culkin at Neverland, Michael getting thrown into a swimming pool with his clothes on, Michael teaching Jordan how to moonwalk, and Michael being treated to a surprise Christmas morning celebration by a bathrobe-clad Taylor. (Wait a minute, isn’t she Jewish?)
The special aims to show Jackson in a more flattering light than he’s been portrayed recently, especially in recent interviews by ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, who has been dishing about her marriages for the first time while promoting her debut album, ”To Whom It May Concern.” As with this year’s earlier Jackson specials, it also coincides with a TV sweeps period; Thursday is the first night of May sweeps. Lachman tells USA Today he has enough material for two more specials if viewers — or ratings-hungry Fox brass — demand them.