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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."