NBC and CNN Films Drop Hillary Clinton Projects

Hillary Clinton

Pressure and protest from outside entities caused stir for both endeavors

NBC has pulled the plug on its Hillary Clinton biopic miniseries, making it official a few hours after CNN confirmed it was nixing a planned documentary on the presumed Democratic presidential candidate.

NBC’s narrative miniseries was to have starred Diane Lane. The script hadn’t even been written, but the Peacock’s announcement of the project in July stirred a hornet’s nest of protest from Republican circles, citing the perceived favoritism of focusing on a presumptive Democratic candidate in 2016.

“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,” NBC said in a statement.

CNN Films made its decision after the director stepped down from the project, citing pressure from both sides of the political aisle.

A spokesperson for CNN Worldwide explained, “Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton … [W]e won’t seek other partners and are not proceeding with the film.”

The projects had the potential to bring a broader array of viewers to both networks, both of which are in the midst of rebuilding. CNN has made some ratings gains under CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, while introducing a slate of so-called “docu-series” and documentary films. NBC, meanwhile, has been casting about for programming that will add to the momentum it gained last season from “The Voice.”

The controversy surrounding the two projects points to challenges many TV networks could face as they seek to tackle more special events and limited-series programming tied to real-life stories. Fox, for example, has announced a project based on the life of O.J. Simpson. Earlier today, CBS put in place an executive whose job it is to acquire new projects that could come from books and historical events.

But like reporters chasing a potentially hot story, the networks may find the subjects of these new program ideas simply don’t want to be part of the story.
Ferguson wrote a blog for the Huffington Post today, where he said that pressure from Clinton aides and supporters — as well as from the Republican National Committee — led to many interview subjects and sources shying away from him.

He wrote, “When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans — and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration.”

The project’s announcement drew immediate ire from the RNC, which voted to ban CNN (and NBC) from hosting or sponsoring Republican primary debates.

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  1. jasmina says:

    Well, I am so glad as she is pure evil.
    After all, Mr. Ferguson wrote : “When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans….”

  2. daedalus32 says:

    Probably decided there would be too much blood and gore for television if they were telling the truth of Hillary’s past.

  3. Alexander Wells says:

    If Fergusen could not get people on tape then the project is dead.
    Showtime’s documentary on Cheney was very interesting and I thought, pretty fair. But Cheney is done with his career. We don’t know yet if the same can be said about Mrs. Clinton.

  4. Contessa46 says:

    David B.: the comment “who cares” was not directed at the deceased, or any other member of the 70,000 people in her department! It was directed at the nitpicking stupid questions that the republicans were asking trying to rake her over the coals. She is no more responsible for this horrific act than she was for the weather that brought hurricane Sandy. Shit happens, and to quote Condeleeza Rice, we have to be on guard 100% of the time where these bastards who commit these acts need only to be successful 99% of the time. This was an awful thing, made worse by finger pointing and trying to lay blame. I’d hate to be your spouse or kid! And, your parents must have been real doozies!

  5. Thank Heaven’s. Every one is aware of CNN and NBC’s political preferrence’s after all it’s highly obvious. This was attemt to shove H Clinton in our faces, something we don’t need or want. There was a time I thought more highly of her but again after her outbutvrst about Bengahzi w/ “Who Cares” it’s time to set her adrift. This is a step in th at direction.in

  6. john t. says:

    If the ABC and CBS News divisions had any balls they would have told the RNC “If CNN and NBC can’t go, we’re not going.” That would have left Fox as the only network covering the debate. Yea, right.

  7. Xybernauts says:

    Many people are suggesting that it is unethical for news based organizations to air this documentary. There is nothing unethical about airing a documentary about a high profile politician like Hillary Clinton as long as its truthful, impartial and objective. CNN has proven that they are all of these things. The RNC needs to stop blaming there political shortcomings on documentaries and they need to focus on the real problems plaguing their party. If they lose the next election it won’t because of a documentary.

  8. Mjkbk says:

    Political pressure? Yeah. You can cite that all you want.

    Still, just because it’s LEGAL to nationally air a special documentary, in time to galvanize support for the nomination/election of a favored candidate, doesn’t mean it’s ETHICAL to do so.

    I remember when even “Bedtime for Bonzo” was barred from the airwaves because Ronald Reagan was running for office. A fictional monkey movie wasn’t allowed to be seen due to overarching ethical considerations. Why the heck would an (inevitably slobbering) doco about Hill be perfectly OK?

    Whenever sociopolitical agenda trumps ethics, it smacks of Machiavellianism. Even when Dems do it (hard to believe, huh?)

  9. stephanie says:

    So the reason they dropped it was because no one wanted to interview for the story because of political pressure. That is different. People are thinking they have a job opportunity so why say something that might be used against them. Once the candidtes are chosen, I’m sure this discussion will be null and void.

  10. David says:

    CNN could do a lot worse than being banned by the RNC! Count it a blessing that you would no longer have to waste your resources on their drivel.

  11. Fred Mertz says:

    I am glad this goes againt the liberal trend in hollywood. Any black, feminist or gay movie automatically gets a rave review. The Hollywood insiders would be shunned if they did not take up the liberal causes and mold out society into a ‘no child left behind’ equality and same society. Soon straight white men will be the only ones who can be discriminated against.

    • stephanie says:

      Diversity is not a trend as it should be the norm. If you aren’t interested in that genre don’t support it but there are other groups in society that have money and will support it. I guess when straight white men get discriminated against you wont have anything else to complain about.

  12. never a Bill "bimbo eruption" says:

    Yes and wisely so, CNN – documentaries are supposed to be about facts and truth – not the BS and “slick willy” 4th Reich fiction the Clinton’s keep promoting to keep $willary Rodham from behind bars.

  13. ed wheeler says:

    why would you u yield to pressure like that. no one can out debate Hillary? show me one debate if u disagree!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Bobo Brazil says:

    CNN knows a loser when it sees one. Hillary won’t even win the Democratic nomination for the 2016 race, so why should CNN waste airspace on a loser? Hollywood isn’t behind Hillary and neither are minorities (who are mad at Mrs. H. for putting down their man Barack in the 2008 race). CNN is already prepping for a Corey Booker biopic.

    • jsm1963 says:

      A loser – yet you guys are obsessed with her.

      You’re also assuming this is about something more than money and ratings.

    • stephanie says:

      That is such a general statement. Many blacks went for Hillary until the rest of the majority chose Barack. People keep forgetting or denying his other half. His mother is white and was raised by his white grandparents until he left home. He won because the majority of whites voted for him so stop hating and get with the program.

  15. bhash says:

    Well lawdee freakin dah

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