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NBC, CNN back out of TV projects on Hillary Clinton

– For a couple of months, NBC and CNN had been working on high-profile television projects about Hillary Rodham Clinton. Within a few hours Monday, both projects were dead.

NBC said it was pulling the plug on a planned four-hour miniseries on the Democratic former first lady and secretary of state. “Hillary,” which was to star Diane Lane in the feature role and appear before the 2016 election, was the target of external protests and internal unhappiness at NBC.

The Republican National Committee had protested both projects, fearing they would lionize Clinton when she might be a candidate for president. The RNC said it would not allow either network to air televised debates among potential GOP candidates for president for 2016 if the films continued.

CNN, meanwhile, had contracted with Charles Ferguson to make a documentary on Clinton. Ferguson won the 2011 Academy Award for his documentary “Inside Job,” about the 2008 financial meltdown.

But Ferguson wrote in a column posted on The Huffington Post on Monday that he concluded he couldn’t make much of a film: Clinton wouldn’t agree to be interviewed, and of the more than 100 people he approached, only two who had dealt with her agreed to speak on camera. Ferguson said nobody was interested in helping him make the film.

– Associated Press

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