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Published: Friday, 8/16/2013

Fox will not be involved with Hillary Rodham Clinton miniseries on NBC


NEW YORK -- An outlet of Fox Entertainment said today that it would not be involved with the hotly debated Hillary Rodham Clinton miniseries on NBC, after all.

And though the decision by the Fox Television Studios production company came on the same day as a vote by the Republican National Committee to ban any presidential debates in the 2016 primary season from NBC because of the proposed movie, an executive involved in the negotiations between the Fox studio and NBC said political pressure was not a factor.

Rather, the executive said, the financial terms being offered by NBC simply were not attractive enough to Fox.

In addition, said the executive, who insisted on not being identified because the deal-making terms between NBC and the production studio were private, Fox had done some research that indicated that foreign sales of the film might not be as strong as anticipated. Fox Television Studios would have gained international sales rights to the miniseries, a crucial factor in its interest.

Still, the prospect of the project’s connection to the Fox brand — which is also attached to the favored outlet of Republicans, Fox News Channel — had given NBC some cover in its defense that an entertainment project has nothing to do with a network’s news division.

A spokesman for NBC said that despite the decision by Fox Television Studios, the network intended to develop the Clinton miniseries.

Some NBC News correspondents have been outspoken in their opposition to the Clinton project, which thus far has a star, Diane Lane, but no script.

NBC’s top entertainment executive, Bob Greenblatt, announced in late July that NBC had purchased the miniseries and would endeavor to present it before Clinton announces her intentions for the 2016 presidential campaign, thus avoiding demands from other candidates for equal time.

The project was pitched to several other networks. CBS quietly passed. Another network did consider it after looking at photos of Lane made up as Clinton that were “so uncanny,” according to one executive who saw them, that some of the network’s entertainment executives believed the project had obvious prospects for an Emmy nomination.

But the project, a four-hour special, did not fit the network’s plans. That network? Fox.

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