This past weekend, audiences were treated to the debut of CBS special Michael Jackson’s Halloween, an hourlong magical adventure in which the King of Pop comes to life in animated forms including that of a dancing pumpkin, an arachnid security guard and a feline scientist, set to a soundtrack of Jackson’s music.
That level of continued interest is precisely why Jackson tops our Halloween-spooky list of the 13 highest-paid dead celebrities for the fifth year in a row–with earnings of $75 million. His postmortem empire is going strong, boosted by the Halloween special and new album Scream joining a list of ventures including a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas and a stake in the EMI music publishing catalogue.
“Michael’s songs are very important to people,” says Mark Dippé, the program’s director. “We just wanted to sort of tell a story that was based around the world that Michael had created with his music, and his dancing, and his performances.”