CNN And NBC Scrap Projects Based On Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Life

on October 01 2013 4:45 AM
Hillary Rodham Clinton
After NBC and CNN both announced plans to show television specials centered on former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Republican National Committee threatened to pull coverage of 2016 GOP presidential-primary debates from the networks unless they canceled their plans. Reuters

Two projects -- a miniseries by NBC and a documentary commissioned by CNN -- based on the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton have been dropped following stiff opposition from political parties and by the news divisions of the networks, according to reports.

CNN had roped in Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Charles H. Ferguson to capture Clinton’s life, but the filmmaker wrote in an article in the Huffington Post on Monday that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats wanted to help him with the documentary.

“…When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film,” Ferguson wrote. “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. Neither political party wanted the film made.”

NBC, which announced in August that it is planning a miniseries about Clinton with Diane Lane set to portray the former First lady and Secretary of State, issued a statement on Monday that the network was dropping the project.

“After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/miniseries development, we've decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton miniseries," NBC said in the statement, cited by USA Today.

The Republicans reportedly objected to the projects fearing that the miniseries and documentary would be seen as an "infomercial" for the potential 2016 presidential candidate.

The New York Times reported that Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, refused to work with either of the networks on presidential primary debates in 2016, if the projects, which he called a “thinly veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election,” were completed. Meanwhile, the Democrats felt the films would take attention away from Clinton’s presidential campaign, and focus on the more dramatic aspects of her life such as her husband, former President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

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