UP TV announced it is pulling “7th Heaven” from its schedule following reports that Stephen Collins is the subject of a criminal investigation for allegedly molesting underage girls.
Adding to the fallout, Collins has been fired from his part in the movie “Ted 2,” the sequel to the hit 2012 Seth MacFarlane comedy set for release next summer, The Times has confirmed.
The Atlanta-based UP TV cable channel, which focuses on uplifting and faith-friendly programming, has been airing “7th Heaven” reruns since July 2012. Collins played patriarch Rev. Eric Camden on the series, which ran from 1996 to 2007 on the WB network (and later on the CW).
The program made up 21 hours of UP TV’s weekly programming. The low-rated cable channel offers a mix of syndicated series, which include “Touched by an Angel” and “Judging Amy,” along with original movies and series.
The New York Police Department confirmed to The Times in a statement that an investigation had been opened, but did not elaborate.
“There is a formal complaint on file and the incident is being investigated by the Manhattan Special Victims Squad,” the statement said.
The news comes after celebrity news site TMZ published an audiotape Tuesday that it said was recorded by Collins’ estranged wife during a therapy session with the actor. The man, whose voice is said to be that of the 67-year-old actor, on the tape mentions two victims in New York and one in Los Angeles, according to TMZ.
Los Angeles police told The Times they are aware of a New York investigation and are reviewing the audiotape, but have not opened their own formal investigation. Collins could not be reached for comment.
Charley Humbard, president and chief executive of UP, said in a statement that those at the family-friendly network “are deeply concerned for the families that are potentially affected by these disturbing allegations surrounding actor Stephen Collins."
He added: “‘7th Heaven’ has been a beloved family show and a fan-favorite on our network.”
UP TV, which was previously known as GMC, will pull the series as of 5 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, with Humbard adding that the network “will continue to monitor the situation and listen carefully to our viewers.”
In its place, reruns of “Supernanny” will air.
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