More than 18 months after it was announced, Killing Patton appears to be dead, National Geographic Channel said today that it is scrapping its latest adaptation of a Bill O’Reilly book. The channel did not mention O’Reilly’s recent legal woes or his firing from Fox News Channel, instead calling it a “difficult project to crack.”
“It was in development for a couple of years and it was difficult project to crack creatively,” 21sh Century Fox-owned NatGeo said in a statement. “Like most projects in development, it didn’t go the distance, so we passed on it.”
The latest iteration of NatGeo’s lucrative “Killing” franchise, Killing Patton originally was planned as a four-hour miniseries. Co-authored by Martin Dugard, it was to centers on the final year of World War II and “recount the events surrounding Gen. George Patton’s suspicious demise, which may have been an assassination by any number of powerful individuals who wanted him silenced,” NatGeo said when the project was unveiled in November 2015.
The most recent film in the series, Killing Reagan, aired in Ocotber on NatGeo. Previous installments Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus were the network’s three most-watched programs domestically; the latter two were Emmy-nominated in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
O’Reilly was set as an executive producer on Killing Patton along with Ridley Scott, David Zucker and Mary Lisio.