NBC and CNN have decided not to move forward with their respective TV projects focusing on Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former was developing a miniseries about the former First Lady with Diane Lane attached to star as Mrs. Clinton, while the news channel tapped filmmaker Charles Ferguson to work on a Clinton documentary.
Ferguson announced his decision first on Monday, September 30 to back out of the project, citing no cooperation from either Republicans or Democrats. "After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out," he revealed in a column posted on The Huffington Post.
"After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm cancelling," he added, "I don't think that it's a victory for the media, or for the American people. I still believe that Mrs. Clinton has many virtues including great intelligence, fortitude, and a deep commitment to bettering the lives of women and children worldwide. But this is not her finest hour."
CNN stated that it understood and respected Ferguson's decision. It "won't seek other partners and are not proceeding with the film."
NBC followed it later on the same day with its own announcement that it abandoned a dramatic four-hour miniseries about Mrs. Clinton. "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 Republican National Committee had previously threatened to boycott Republican presidential primary debate for 2016 sponsored by CNN and NBC if the films continued. However, industry sources said NBC's move had nothing to do with the RNC, the Clintons or NBC News.
NBC did not detail specifically why it canceled its Clinton miniseries, but the project had lost a production partner when Fox Television Studios backed out of the project in August. This might influence the network's decision.
Following the cancellations of the Clinton TV projects, RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said the RNC would no longer stage boycotts on both networks. "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 stated.