CNN, NBC scrap Hillary Clinton TV projects

Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:26pm EDT
 
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By Liana B. Baker and Gabriel Debenedetti

(Reuters) - Two television projects focused on Hillary Clinton got the axe on Monday after the programs became embroiled in partisan wrangling, including threats by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to boycott presidential debates sponsored by CNN and NBC.

The filmmaker for CNN said he could not complete the project because he'd received no cooperation from either Democrats or Republicans, while industry sources said NBC's move had nothing to do with the RNC, the Clintons or NBC News, which is run separately from NBC's entertainment unit.

Charles Ferguson, the filmmaker responsible for the CNN documentary, wrote a scathing online essay, saying that the Democrat's camp froze him out and that Republicans had grumbled about meddling in the 2016 presidential race.

A CNN spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the film would be canceled and said the decision was made by the filmmaker.

NBC, whose entertainment unit had been planning a dramatic four-hour miniseries starring Diane Lane as Clinton, said it was also abandoning the TV movie on Monday.

"After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/mini-series development, we've decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton mini-series," an NBC spokesman said in a statement.

The mini-series had already lost a production partner when Fox Television Studios passed on working with NBC in August.

The Republican National Committee in August had threatened to boycott any 2016 presidential debates sponsored by CNN and NBC, and RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said on Monday the RNC would no longer stage boycotts now that both networks had canceled their Clinton projects.   Continued...

 
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) speaks about a commitment to stop poaching of African elephants, as daughter Chelsea looks on, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson