Spike TV Airs Episode Featuring Bar Where Wayne Mills Was Killed
**NOTE: This story has been updated. See updates at bottom.
After telling viewers earlier in the day that they would not air a controversial episode of the reality show “Bar Rescue” that featured both the bar where country artist Wayne Mills was shot and killed early Saturday morning, as well as the bar owner Chris Ferrell who shot Mills, Spike TV showed the episode in a later time slot Sunday night.
Earlier on Sunday, Spike TV spokeswoman Shana Tepper told The Tennessean that the network had decided to pull the episode and show a rerun, which they did in the traditional “Bar Rescue” time slot. But in the midnight to 1 AM Central time slot, Spike TV aired the controversial new episode anyway.
44 year-year-old Jerald Wayne Mills was at the Pit and Barrel early Saturday morning (11-23) when apparently an altercation erupted with the owner, Chris Michael Ferrell, after Wayne was smoking in a non-smoking area. Everyone else in the bar went outside, and later witnesses heard gunshots fired and called police. Ferrell told police he acted in self-defense.The bar owner has a valid handgun carry permit. Chris Ferrell and Wayne Mills were reportedly friends.
“Bar Rescue” with Jon Taffer finds struggling bars and nightclubs, and gives them makeovers to become successful. Friends, fans, and family of Wayne Mills had asked that the episode not be aired out of respect for Wayne, and had circulated phone numbers for the show’s producers, and even started an online petition in an attempt to stop the airing. The episode shows Chris Ferrell acting aggressively, and he’s told to remove his guns from the bar.
The airing appears to be yet another mistake in the aftermath of the shooting that has seen many of them. Wayne Mills was initially misidentified as another songwriter, and it wasn’t until hours into the investigation that the mistake was caught.
On Sunday night Fox 17 in Nashville aired an in-depth report about the shooting that included footage and interviews from a gathering of Wayne Mills friends. In the report, a picture surfaced that shows Wayne Mills and Chris Ferrell in the same photograph, with Ferrell casually showing a gun. Chris Ferrell is 3rd from the left with the gun, and Wayne Mills is peering over the crowd in the near right of the photo.
Ferrell has also been arrested twice for driving on a suspended license, though both charges were later dismissed. Wayne Mills also has an arrest history. He was charged with driving under the influence and for reckless endangerment when he grazed a police officer on the highway in 2010.
UPDATE (11-25-13 1:19 PM CST): Spike TV has issued a statement about the airing of the controversial episode:
In our last minute effort over the weekend to pull the “Bar Rescue” episode featuring the Pit and Barrel, we regretfully did not remove a late-night telecast of the episode. We apologize to all those affected by the terrible tragedy over the weekend and to Jon Taffer, the production team, and our advertisers for our unfortunate human error.
UPDATE (11-26-13 4:30 PM CST): According to musician Pete Berwick who has been at the forefront of trying to resolve the airing of the “Bar Rescue” episode, Spike TV has committed to making a donation to the family of Wayne Mills. “…it is time to move on, and past this, as we can now focus on the greatness and the artistry and the amazing legacy of the man Wayne Mills,” said Berwick on his Facebook page.
November 25, 2013 @ 1:06 am
I just don’t understand how with a man dead, how so many people can drop the ball at every point of the process. I don’t want a cookie, I don’t want a gold star, but ever since I heard about the shooting of Wayne Mills, it has been an imperative of mine to be diligent and thorough with this story. Same goes for the reporters at The Tennessean, and the reporters at the local Nashville news stations. They weren’t able to take Sunday off in the midst of an ongoing shooting investigation like the Nashville Police investigators. And that’s after getting the name of Wayne Mills wrong for 6-8 hours of the initial investigation. I will bet you anything, Spike TV did not want to air that episode. It was because it was Sunday, and someone didn’t get the memo to swap the later re-air for the rerun like they did for the earlier slot. It’s because few people truly give a shit about doing what they’re supposed to do anymore, and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.
November 25, 2013 @ 8:23 am
I agree with you that it was probably a mistake of not swapping out the re-run later in the night. I actually watch the show normally and the new episode runs and then it is re-aired again 2 hours later. Still a huge mistake though.
November 25, 2013 @ 8:37 am
Here are phone numbers and emails of the producers of that episode.
Nichole 212-767-8855 or Shane 310-407-4728 email@example.com
This is despicable that these pieces of excrement aired this. May as well piss on Wayne’s grave and on his wife and kid. This is war. Someone will pay for this.
November 25, 2013 @ 12:25 pm
This looks like an honest, if stupid, mistake.
I understand that people are pissed (though the consequences for this are a lot less than the police screw up–scaring Clayton Mills friends and family and preventing Wayne Mills family from seeing him before he died), but what do you really think you’re going to accomplish?
I’m sorry to say that Wayne Mills does not have a big enough fan base for a boycott or anything like that to have an effect, and a bunch of e-mails and phone calls are just going to create work for some poor secretary or intern, not the people who actually screwed things up.
November 25, 2013 @ 12:47 pm
Wanna bet, Mike? We put enough pressure on them to issue a public apology, and a very lame one of “oh, we forgot.” Now I am generating a petition that all funds from the tasteless airing of this episode be donated to the wife and young son of Wayne. We in the country outlaw community don’t stick our heads in the sand. You can shrug it off if you wish, and write it all off as a bunch of extra clutter for “some poor secretary,” but thanks to the efforts of me and many others who actually give a shit, being that Wayne was a friend and a brother to us, we have these cocksuckers on the defense. This ain’t over, by a long shot. And Wayne Mills was a living fucking legend and as real a deal as they ever came, paying dues the hard way and touring for over two decades, sweating it out in roadhouse dives and honky tonks as Nashville continued to look the other way and suck the dick of mediocrity. What makes you the judge of how well known he was or not? Fact is, big acts like JAMEY JOHNSON and TAYLOR HICKS were opening shows for him before anyone knew who the hell they were. His last show was Thursday night on a bill with SHOOTER JENNINGS. Wayne had just landed a huge distribution deal, was drawing good crowds, and after a lifetime of paying dues appeared poised for a big break. Well, now he IS national news, and a damn shame that it took him getting killed to be noticed in the way he should have before.
November 25, 2013 @ 1:09 pm
Alright folks, let’s please not fight amongst ourselves, and remember what the most important issues are with this story. I personally don’t have any problem with Pete posting the phone numbers and email addresses. They are part of the public record to begin with, and I try to keep my comments section an open forum for everyone to voice their grievances as long as it doesn’t descend into personal threats or childish name calling.
Personally, I agree it was probably a careless mistake by Spike and not a malicious act, and said as much last night right after I posted this in the first comment. At the same time, it’s their mistake, and they should take responsibility for it, and considering the circumstances, I understand why some are angry and are not satisfied with a simple apology.
Emotions are high, sleep has been short for some (including me), so let’s do our best to respect each other.
Big Foot is Real (but I have my doubts about you)
November 25, 2013 @ 12:42 pm
I doubt the producers had anything to do with the scheduling of the show. I find it quite irresponsible to post a threat and the producers contact info on this site.
November 25, 2013 @ 12:50 pm
They had EVERYTHING to do with it. SPIKE TV had promised, in respect of the wishes of Wayne’s family, to not air it. They did anyway.
November 25, 2013 @ 9:03 am
I can not find this episode and I record all of these episodes. the episode that was on at 2 am CST was the same episode that aired at 9pm CST except they hade different names
November 25, 2013 @ 9:13 am
The episode featuring the Pit and Barrel and Chris Ferrell ran in the midnight to 1 AM Central time slot, and this has been confirmed by multiple sources. They showed a rerun in the show’s original spot earlier in the day, and may have showed that same episode in the 2 am time slot as well, I’m not sure. But the specific episode in question, Season 3 episode 28, did air.
November 25, 2013 @ 10:07 am
Reality show producers are pretty much some of the lowest forms of life on the planet, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it was intentional.
November 25, 2013 @ 12:21 pm
“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”
If they wanted to air it, they would have aired it at 10:00. I know there were a few dozen people on facebook making a stink about them cancelling the show, but if they wanted to air it, they could have simply ignored everyone and say “sorry we were busy over the weekend” if it became a bigger deal.
Like lots of basic cable channels with few original programs, they replay episodes later at night. They likely cancelled the 10:00 airing and forgot to cancel the midnight one. Barely anyone watches spike at midnight on Sunday, and they really don’t have anything to gain by only airing it at midnight.
November 25, 2013 @ 1:45 pm
I still stand by the first part of my statement.
November 25, 2013 @ 2:00 pm
Yep, this is just a control room tech guy’s fault. Nothing to do with the producers of the show.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:27 pm
I wouldn’t say “nothing.” Ultimately, someone is making decisions and providing managerial oversight, and those people are responsible as well.
The funny thing about this is, even as this story was playing out last night, I felt there was a very good chance the episode would air. There was just that feeling about it, how it seemed like every step of the way in this case, things have been mishandled and this would be just another example.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:11 pm
The management chain at Spike TV bear responsibility, but not the producer of the show. Once the show was created (produced), the creators (producers) have absolutely nothing to do with the scheduling. They can beg and plead for the best prime time slot for their creation, but the management of the channel decides what airs and when.
I don’t know the internal workings of scheduling from management, who decided to pull the show, to the tech, who sent it out vie the satellite like to the individual stations,
November 25, 2013 @ 5:13 pm
I thought it would air too, and I tuned in to the regularly scheduled time to see what would happen and it got pulled from that slot.
November 25, 2013 @ 11:00 am
I watched the show last night and am glad that I did. It confirms that Wayne was murdered by an idiot! It is a shame that someone so loving, talented, and caring was taken down by someone who treats his own staff as crap. Justice must be served to Ferrell for the Injustice that happened to Wayne.
Wayne Mills was so talented. His wife loved him unconditionally. My prayers are being lifted for Carole to be comforted and for God’s peace that transcends all understanding to guard her heart and her mind.
November 25, 2013 @ 1:26 pm
I’m not trying to start a fight and I want to be very respectful to Wayne Mills and his family, but I can’t see how airing this episode of Bar Rescue was so controversial. Was Wayne Mills in the episode? Is the episode benefiting from the death of Mr. Mills or would Chris Ferrel benefit from the airing of the episode? Most of the time the owners of the bars on Bar Rescue are portrayed as dysfunctional lunatics and their bars close up weeks after the episode. If anything, airing that episode last night would help the public determine what kind of man Ferrel is and help us understand what might have happened the night of the murder since we all know very little at this time.
November 25, 2013 @ 1:44 pm
I think that’s an understandable perspective, and I actually do think the airing of that episode helped spread the world about what happened to Wayne Mills, and there were people who came to Saving Country Music and other sites last night after watching the episode and taking to Google to get more info on the bar. Here’s one example:
But I think the reason that it was controversial and/or disrespectful is because it went against the wishes of the family and friends of the deceased. All concern and deference should be paid to them, and if they didn’t want the episode aired, then that’s all I need to know. And apparently, Spike felt the same way, they just fumbled their commitment to not airing it.
Also, I’m no lawyer, but there may be some legal implications of airing the episode during a open investigation because the episode could be used in character referencing in a trial.
Big Foot is Real (but I have my doubts about you)
November 25, 2013 @ 2:04 pm
Absolutley right Trigger, if Chris Ferrell ever goes to trail for the death of Wayne Mills I can guarantee you that one question that will put to potential jury members will be, “Have you seen or are you aware of the episode of Bar Rescue featuring Chris Ferrell?”. Assuming that, as some have posted, it shows Chris Ferrell in an unfavorable light those potential jurors who reply in the affirmative would be excluded from jury selection. Not sure viewership of Bar Resuce is significant enough to greatly impact a potential jury pool but it could if Spike decides to appeal to folks morbid curiousity and air the episode prior to a trial. Again, providing Chris Farrell ever goes to trial.
November 27, 2013 @ 11:03 am
I have serious doubts that Bar Rescue is such a popular show or that more than ten people even watch it.
November 25, 2013 @ 2:24 pm
Am I the only one who finds it somewhat ironic that Spike used to be The Nashville Network?
November 25, 2013 @ 4:43 pm
I SINCERELY ask all fans and friends of WAYNE MILLS to sign this petition. Myself and John K. Callender have generated this petition that DEMANDS all revenue generated by the tasteless airing of SPIKE TV’S program BAR RESCUE, the very following night after country outlaw singer Wayne Mills was shot and killed by the owner of that bar, and in that very same bar, be donated to Wayne’s family; his wife and little 6 year-old boy. Thank you! We can’t bring back Wayne, but together we can do just a little bit to make a wrong right.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:21 pm
Who cares? How many people potentially drink and drive and fatally crash after leaving bars like this every night. Its not like the program showed him getting shot. It should have aired.
November 25, 2013 @ 7:41 pm
Looks like quite a few of us!
November 25, 2013 @ 6:07 pm
Don’t confuse the producers of Bar Rescue with the people in charge of the schedule at Spike TV. Spike TV is to blame for this “oversight.” Seems like Pete is having a hard time understanding that. His rage is misdirected.
November 25, 2013 @ 6:16 pm
Figure it out Pete. I know you’re mad, and with good reason. BUT, the producers of Bar Rescue have no control over when they’re show airs. Their job is to make a TV show. It was done before this tragedy occurred. Spike TV dropped the ball. Your rage is misdirected.
PS. – These reCatcha’s are getting to be F’ing impossible. The audio is even worse.
November 25, 2013 @ 6:23 pm
Ben, please read the petition again, my brother. We ARE holding SPIKE TV accountable. I am pretty sure that is totally clear in the wording.
November 25, 2013 @ 6:27 pm
Ben, though I think what you may be referring to is my earlier post asking for folks to contact the directors of the episode, in which case, yes, you are correct. my head was spinning so much this morning I missed that reality, which you clearly point out. Look a little above our communication here and you will see my later petition demanding that SPIKE TV is held accountable.
November 25, 2013 @ 7:50 pm
We’re working on getting the captchas removed. I know people hate them, and I hate them more than anyone. But to put it simply, if we take them off, this site would receive as many as 70,000 spam comments a minute and would be knocked offline 3 to 4 times an hour. It’s the only way to solve the problem without spending lots and lots of money. This site is growing so fast we are doing the best we can just to keep it up. Believe it or not it’s a daily, behind-the-scenes battle.
November 25, 2013 @ 8:50 pm
I certainly don’t blame you for having them, and I, along with everyone else have dealt with them forever. I just can’t remember ever having more difficulty with them than recently at savingcountrymusic.com. My last attempt at a comment took about 10 tries, which lead to the two separate comments stating the same exact thing.
I’m sorry, I didn’t read the petition due to what I thought was misdirected anger. I’m glad to hear you are targeting the right people.
November 27, 2013 @ 10:59 am
November 27, 2013 @ 10:58 am
November 30, 2013 @ 5:42 pm
SAD,SAD FUCKIN SAD! Sincere condolences to the family of Wayne Mills!