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Posts tagged ‘Robert Greenblatt’

NBC’s Hillary Clinton Project Looks Doomed, Rivals Say.

Image: NBC's Hillary Clinton Project Looks Doomed, Rivals Say

NBC’s Hillary Clinton miniseries looks likely to fizzle out, executives at two rival networkstold TheWrap.”It’s going to die a slow death,” one of the executives said, following NBC entertainment Bob Greenblatt statement Friday that the project was only in development and might never be made. The executives spoke on condition of anonymity.

Greenblatt’s statement came in response to the Republican National Committee voting to bar NBC and CNN from hosting 2016 Republican primary debates. CNN Films is also planning a Clinton project, a documentary. Republicans say the projects give the former Secretary of State an unfair publicity boost over their candidates.

On Friday, the same day as the RNC vote, Fox Television Studios said it woud not produce the film.

Greenblatt announced the project in remarks to television critics last month, but noted in his statement Friday that not all projects in development actually air.

“The Hillary Clinton movie has not been ordered to production, only a script is being written at this time. It is ‘in development,’ the first stage of any television series or movie, many of which never go to production,” Greenblatt said. “Speculation, demands, and declarations pertaining to something that isn’t created or produced yet seem premature.”

The four-hour miniseries would be written and directed by Courtney Hunt and would star Diane Lane.

“The Kennedys” producer Joel Surnow blamed political pressure from the left two years ago when his drama was dropped by History and aired instead on Reelz. This time, the pressure is coming from conservatives – though it was unclear whether it was the reason for the project’s recent obstacles.

CBS passed on the project before NBC decided to move forward, a knowledgeable executive told TheWrap. Fox passed as well.

A representative for Hunt declined to comment Tuesday on the status of the project. So did NBC. A representative for Lane did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Soon after the miniseries was announced, NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd griped that it was a “total nightmare” for NBC News, which is separate from Greenblatt’s entertainment wing.

“We know there’s this giant firewall, we know we have nothing to do with it. We know that we’d love probably to be as critical or whatever it is gonna be if it comes out, but there’s nothing we can do about it and we’re gonna only own the negative,” Todd said.

Last week, he said the RNC’s decision to shut out CNN and NBC was “smart” because it would enable the party to hold fewer debates, and deny a forum to less viable candidates.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Media Matters Joins Priebus Call for Networks to Cancel Clinton Films.

A liberal watchdog group has joined the Republican call for NBC and CNN to cancel planned film projects on Hillary Clinton, increasing pressure on the networks to avoid the appearance of promoting the former secretary of state as a possible 2016 presidential contender.

Media Matters of America founder and longtime Clinton ally David Brock sent out letters to NBC and CNN on Tuesday backing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus‘ demand that the networks cancel a film and documentary on Clinton.

Priebus on Monday sent out a letter of his own to NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker threatening to pull their rights to sponsor GOP primary debates in the 2016 campaign if they went forward with their Clinton projects.

In his own letters to Zucker and Greenblatt, Brock said, “Given that this project could coincide with a potential Clinton campaign, the timing raises too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election.”

He asks Greenblatt, “Will you allow NBC News’ name to be tarnished by NBC Entertainment’s pursuit of ratings?” adding, “NBC has a reputation for objectivity and fairness. Yet NBC Entertainment acknowledged that it will be evaluating the content not by journalistic standards, but rather purely by entertainment value. A fictionalized caricature of Clinton may make for more dramatic appeal, but diversions from reality are likely to blow back on NBC News.”

And he tells Zucker, “Airing a film about only one of the many potential 2016 presidential candidates demonstrates unintentional favoritism and could tarnish your network’s reputation for objectivity and undermine your credibility.”

Brock, who also heads the American Bridge super PAC that recently launched an initiative called “Correct the Record” to protect Clinton and other Democrats from so-called “Republican smears,” offered a view on why the networks should heed Priebus’ warning.

“How will your network respond to the right-wing noise machine that is already pressuring you to adopt its ideological lens on Clinton?” he asked both network heads.

“Unless you are prepared to answer these concerns, those raised by Mr. Priebus, and others that will likely arise in the future, I call on you to reconsider this programming,” he added.

The Priebus threat — in which he said he would work to persuade Republicans to block the two networks from hosting GOP primary debates in 2016 unless the Clinton shows were pulled — was prompted by NBC’s announcement that it plans to air a four-hour miniseries entitled “Hillary,” which the network says will track “Clinton’s life as a wife, mother, politician, and cabinet member.” At the same, CNN is also planning a feature-length documentary about Clinton that will be shown on network stations and also in select theaters across the country.

In his letters to the networks, Priebus expressed “deep disappointment” over their decisions to produce films “promoting former Secretary Hillary Clinton ahead of her likely candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melanie Batley

NBC to Air Hillary Clinton Miniseries.

A Hillary Rodham Clinton miniseries timed to precede the 2016 presidential election is part of NBC’s effort to create “event” programming that will draw viewers to the shrinking world of broadcast network TV, NBC’s programming chief said Saturday.

“We need to be in the event business. I think you’re going to hear that from every broadcast network,” said Bob Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman.

The four-hour miniseries “Hillary,” starring Diane Lane as the former first lady and secretary of state, is one such bid for distinctive programming, he said.

The goal is to woo viewers who are increasingly drawn away by cable TV‘s eye-catching, critically acclaimed fare like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” and other media choices.

Broadcasting’s audience is shrinking by 4 percent to 7 percent annually, Greenblatt told a meeting of the Television Critics Association.

“Anything that can shake up the landscape and say, `we have something special'” would be considered part of the varied group of event projects, he said.

At NBC, that ranges from the new fall game show “Million Second Quiz” to big-ticket scripted fare including “Hillary” and other projects announced Saturday: “Rosemary’s Baby” a four-hour version of the Ira Levin novel that was adapted as a 1968 movie; an adaptation of “Stephen King’s Tommyknockers,” and “Plymouth,” about the Pilgrim’s journey and settlement in America.

A six-hour miniseries about Cleopatra is in development, Greenblatt said.

Although Clinton hasn’t announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for president, Greenblatt spoke as if her candidacy is expected. “Hillary” could air before Clinton announces her decision, but the timing has yet to be determined, Greenblatt said.

He didn’t address how such a miniseries, which will track Clinton’s life and career from 1998 to the present, might affect the presidential contest.

The part of former President Bill Clinton has yet to be cast. Lane’s credits include the feature films “Unfaithful” and “Under the Tuscan Sun” and the TV movie “Cinema Verite.”

Other networks seeking to stem audience erosion are jumping on the event bandwagon, especially in light of the success of another King adaptation, CBS’ summer series “Under the Dome.” Announced plans include a Fox’s remake of the “Shogun” miniseries based on James Clavell‘s novel.

Greenblatt argued that NBC, which finished the last September-to-May season in fourth place in total viewers, is in better shape when the entire year is taken into account, especially among advertiser-favored young adult viewers.

He credited the popular talent contests “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” as well as dramas “Grimm” and “Hannibal.”

NBC has high hopes for the fall sitcom that brings Michael J. Fox back to TV but is prepared for a big tune-in for the debut episode that might not be sustainable, Greenblatt said.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

NBC says it is conscious of violence, but isn’t the ‘shoot-’em-up’ network.

PASADENA, Calif. – NBC says it is conscious about the amount of violence it airs in the wake of real-life tragedies, but it isn’t really an issue because NBC isn’t the “shoot-’em-up” network.

Network entertainment President Jennifer Salke said Sunday that NBC hasn’t taken any specific steps to ask show creators to tone down violence. She said it would be different if NBC was perceived as a “shoot-’em-up” network with many crime procedurals, but she said it wasn’t an issue.

NBC has in development a drama based on the life of Hannibal Lecter, one of fiction’s most indelible serial killers, but hasn’t scheduled it for the air.

Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said a tonic for people disturbed by violence is to watch an episode of “Parenthood.”


By The Associated Press | Associated Press

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