Now CNN has bailed on its plans for a Hillary Clinton documentary, but insisted the director made the call. The news comes just weeks after NBC issued a statement saying its Hillary Clinton miniseries — which was the biggest bit of news at its TCA Summer TV Press Tour appearance — was after all only a project in development and might never see the light of day (translation: don’t hold your breath). CNN let it be known this morning its CNN Films division had informed the mothership it would not move ahead on its Clinton docu — because the director had bowed out. “Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton … [W]e won’t seek other partners and are not proceeding with the film,” CNN Worldwide told Politico. Message of the message: CNN did not decide to cancel the docu — it was the director’s decision.
In one of those incredible coincidences that makes this industry so interesting, Ferguson this very morning wrote a blog post published on Huffington Post, in which he complained pressure from Clinton’s camp and the Republican National Committee led many of his prospective interviewees to give him a “no dice” response to appearing in the docu. He expresses surprise to discover “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. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away. I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from CBN (Pat Robertson) and from Fox. 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.”
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He should’ve talked to CNN hire Newt Gingrich ages ago. Earlier this month, the star of CNN’s resuscitated Crossfire said it is not possible to make a “neutral” documentary about Clinton, when asked his thoughts on the Republican National Committee’s decision last month to block CNN from GOP presidential primary debates during the 2016 election cycle because it is working on a Clinton docu. The RNC also voted to block NBC from the debates because of its Clinton miniseries project, which Gingrich also called a “documentary — as in, “I don’t think Hillary’s survival or failure are going to rest on these two documentaries.”
Unlike CNN, NBC did its wagon-circling in mid August — hours after the RNC announced its decision after calling both projects promos for the presumed presidential candidate’s campaign. “The Hillary Clinton movie has not been ordered to production, only a script is being written at this time,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said in a statement. “It is ‘in development’, the first stage of any television series or movie, many of which never go to production. Speculation, demands, and declarations pertaining to something that isn’t created or produced yet seem premature. Giving CNN its back-out template, NBC’s statement was issued not long after word got out that Fox TV Studio, which had been in talks to produce the miniseries, would not move ahead with the project about the former First Lady and Secretary of State.
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