Jesse Ferrell

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Discovery Channel Storm Chasers Cancelled!

January 20, 2012; 4:11 PM ET

UPDATE: 1/24/2012: There is still no confirmation from Discovery Channel, but we do have written confirmation from one of the show's stars, Tim Samaras, as broken by StormChaserMovies, who confirmed the rumor originally (although I still think it was irresponsible reporting to publish that confirmation without written, verifiable proof). I agree with what Tim says, and it doesn't surprise me. In the end, the show is very expensive because of the traveling, and the general populace doesn't "get it."


UPDATE: 1/23/2012: Still no official word from the Discovery Channel; Reed Timmer calls a statement that he confirmed it "false." At this time, I think we have to close the book on this one until I get a response from Discovery.

UPDATE 1/21/2012: Additional hearsay has surfaced - which, if true, confirms that the show is cancelled. Since Discovery Channel has not returned my calls / emails, I'm leaning towards that direction now.

UPDATE: The blogger who "confirmed" it now says he's not sure.

A rumor, started this morning by a couple of people in the Storm Chasing community on Facebook, has spread like wildfire on Social Media today: Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" reality TV show is cancelled. One website "confirmed" it, adding fuel to the fire, but only showed a lengthy YouTube video which did not contain proof. But as of now, there is no proof.

And what I mean by that is that there has been no public statement by any of the crew or Discovery Communications, who I left a voicemail for earlier today. This is a great example of something that is not a news story being portrayed as news by naive Social Media users. They used to say "you can't believe everything you read" -- what ever happened to that?

So what's the real story? It's only a rumor at this time. As a reporter for I have to say that it is not cancelled, because I have seen no proof that it is. This is the problem with the Internet: Everybody's a reporter.

If I get updates, I'll post them here. If you have sources, please post them below. If the rumor ends up to be false, some respected people in the storm chaser community will have egg on their face, and I won't let them live it down. If it turns out to be true, it still wasn't good reporting to say that it was, with no source or an anonymous one. And yes, I admit I've been part of the rumor spreading, but I've been very clear that I only want to crowdsource an answer. (If you've never seen the show, below is the 2011 Premiere trailer).

Here are some pros (that the rumor is false) and cons (that the rumor is true) for the show:

PRO: The videographer claiming to have taped the video which was used by someone else as "confirming proof" said on Facebook: "In our video of Reed Timmer at the Minnesota Storm Chasing Convention, not once does he make reference to storm chasers being cancelled."

PRO: The message has some basis but is still false. Did a friend of a friend really speak to a member of the crew or not? Even if a crew member did start the rumor, has it morphed from "I lost my contract" or "The show might be cancelled" to "Aaaaaaaaaa! The show's cancelled!"?

CON: I trust the people who have connections in the storm chasing biz that have been saying this -- certainly *they* believe it's true.

CON: There has been much drama in the Storm Chasing community over the past year or two, especially in regards to the safety of the show (though some whining is just jealousy).

CON: Discovery Channel is not answering my requests.

CON: The show's most popular star Reed Timmer is not responding via his official Facebook or Twitter or YouTube channels.

A lot of storm chasers are opposed to the show; I recognize it as a drama, not real life, and I think it's quite good. I have respect for all involved in the show. Below is a photo of me with the "TIV" crew from the show in Fall 2010.

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Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.