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About 10 hours after the Republican National Committee went public with its threat of retaliation should NBC go ahead with plans of a Hillary Clinton miniseries, the television network responded with a mildly worded statement about the prematurity of the RNC’s concerns. NBC even hinted the show might never air — regardless of partisan threats — since it has not yet been ordered into production.
“NBC Entertainment has many projects in development, and this particular miniseries — which has nothing to do with the NBC News division — is in the very early stages,” the network said in an e-mail to The Hollywood Reporter. “The script has not been written nor has it been ordered into production. It would be premature to draw any conclusions or make any assumptions about it at this time.”
Earlier Monday, RNC chairman Reince Priebus disclosed letters he wrote to NBC Entertainment and to CNN asking the former to ditch its plans for a miniseries and the latter to do likewise with its intentions for a documentary film. According to the letters, both networks risk being shut out from Republican primary debates during the 2016 presidential cycle if they do not comply.
“As an American company, you have every right to air programming of your choice,” Priebus wrote in a letter addressed to NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “But as American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election.”
CNN responded to the RNC’s threats earlier on Monday, also calling the organization’s concerns “premature.”
Meanwhile, Priebus made an appearance on Hannity on the Fox News Network, where he defended his decision to pressure CNN and NBC.
“We have to control the referees we’re bringing into our playground, and right now I can’t trust two organizations that are willing to spend millions of their own dollars in promoting a candidate that they know is gearing up to run for president,” Priebus told host Sean Hannity. “If it’s no big deal and it’s just sort of this evenhanded review of Hillary Clinton, fine, then just wait two years and when she doesn’t run for president, move forward with your documentary. Nothing is going to change. Hillary is going to be here for plenty of years for us to produce movies and documentaries about Hillary Clinton. That’s all.”
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