News / Arts & Entertainment

CNN, NBC Scrap Hillary Clinton TV Projects

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton introduces her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept. 24, 2013.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton introduces her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept. 24, 2013.
Reuters
Two television projects focused on Hillary Clinton got the ax 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 cancelled 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.
 
“Now that CNN and NBC have canceled their Hillary Clinton infomercials, we will work on developing a new debate model that will address the timing, frequency, moderators and venues that will come in the next few months,” Kukowski said.
 
The committee has not revealed the new model for the debates yet.
 
Although NBC did not directly say why it had decided to cancel the mini-series based on the life of the former secretary of state and first lady, industry sources called it a “tenuous” production without a script and said losing its production partner also influenced NBC's decision.
 
Clinton is widely expected to run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The former U.S. secretary of state has said she is still considering her options.
 
Clinton representative Nick Merrill said “Lights, camera, no reaction,” in an email on Monday to Reuters.
 
Director Quits
 
Ferguson, who was tapped to direct the CNN film last year, said he began receiving messages from Clinton's staff almost immediately after he signed the contract and in the ensuing months found it difficult to get anyone to speak to him.
 
“But 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,” Ferguson wrote.
 
In his blog post, Ferguson also cited pushback from Republicans whose leaders complained that the documentary amounted to political ads for Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York and the wife of former President Bill Clinton.
 
The filmmaker said he was not pressured by CNN to cancel the project, and that the network's president, Jeff Zucker, had pledged his support for the film.
 
Ferguson is best known for his 2010 documentary “Inside Job” a critical look at Wall Street and what led to the 2008 financial crisis. It won an Academy Award in 2011 for best documentary film. An earlier documentary he produced and directed, “No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq,” received film festival awards.
 
Ferguson said he was surprised that “prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me” that they weren't happy with the project.
 
“After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm canceling,” Ferguson said in the blog post.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
September 30, 2013 7:51 PM
GOOD!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”