It’s “totally ridiculous and stupid” to suggest Fox News Channel will lose access to Republican primary debates in 2016 if Fox TV Studios produces NBC’s proposed Hillary Clinton miniseries, said the GOP’s Reince Priebus today. “The big question for me is what company is putting it on the air, who’s doing the work. I’m not interested in if they are using the same caterer or whether they all drink Diet Coke. I’m not boycotting Diane Lane, I’m going to boycott the companies that put the miniseries and documentaries on the air for the American people to view,” the Republican National Committee chair told CNN’s Candy Crowley Sunday. “The company that puts these things on the air to promote Hillary Clinton, including CNN, is the company that is not going to be involved in our debates. Period,” he added of his threat last week to pull the GOP out of any debates CNN and NBC are involved in because of their Clinton productions. NBC Entertainment boss Greenblatt said on July 27 that his network would be making a four-hour miniseries with Lane starring as Clinton. CNN Films announced on July 29 that it was making a feature-length documentary about the assumed Presidential candidate to be directed by Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson. As Deadline reported on August 9, Fox TV Studios is in preliminary discussions with NBC about the Courtney Hunt-written mini. Fox TV Studios is a unit of 21st Century Fox and a sister company of FNC, a must visit destination for anyone seeking the GOP Presidential nomination and a participant in many a Republican debate.
On August 5 the GOP ruling body sent letters to CNN’s Jeff Zucker and NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt protesting both networks’ plans to run productions on the former Secretary of State and presumed 2016 Presidential candidate. Priebus said then that the RNC would take a vote on August 14 to pull out of any 2016 primary debates sponsored or partnered by the respective networks if they didn’t pull the plug on the projects. The NBC project is said to be in the very early stages with no air date scheduled. The CNN docu would to come out theatrically in 2014 before running on the cable news network. In response to the RNC letter, CNN issued a statement later on August 5 that said the GOP body making “premature decisions” about the film and performing “the ultimate disservice to voters” in threatening to pull out of debates that the network either sponsors or partners on.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.