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RNC blasts NBC, CNN over Hillary Clinton projects

Actress Diane Lane is expected to play Hillary

Actress Diane Lane is expected to play Hillary Clinton in a proposed NBC miniseries. (Credit: Getty Images, 2011)

Suddenly, NBC's proposed miniseries based on Hillary Clinton has hit a stiff crosswind in the form of the Republican National Committee, which  Monday sent letters to both NBC and CNN -- also planning a major Hillary doc -- threatening to cancel televised 2016 GOP primary debates on both networks.

The letter was sent by RNC chairman Reince Priebus, and said in part: "It's appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton's campaign operatives. Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing."

This flak was certainly anticipated, though NBC seemed not overly concerned when the subject was broached last week during its TV Critics Association session. I asked Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chief, whether another candidate might "demand an equal time miniseries."

The question was facetious but the point was not: How could a major network air a miniseries with a particularly glamorous actress like Diane Lane (playing Clinton) on the eve of an election that Clinton is fully expected to take part in without getting some sort of negative reaction from other interested political parties, including her potential Democratic rivals?

Greenblatt said, "we just literally closed the deal and haven’t even written the script. So all that is to be determined. We’re going to have to really think about the timing of it. She’s not going to probably declare her candidacy for two more years. So I think it will be the late spring or early summer of ’15 that she will declare. So this could well have aired before that. We have to talk through all of that."

(Meanwhile, here's something that the RNC does not know, or could not know: Perhaps the NBC and CNN projects will be negative, in which case Clinton has something to complain about.)

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