NBC's Hillary Clinton miniseries looks likely to fizzle out, executives at two rival networks told 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.
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