Responding to the Republican National Committee's threats of a boycott over NBC's and CNN's plans to produce Hillary Clinton features, both networks called the RNC's concerns "premature" and plan to move forward with their projects.
CNN criticized the RNC threat, saying that "limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters," and NBC, approaching the issue more gently, suggested their Hillary Clinton miniseries might not even make it to the small screen.
Both networks recently announced that the Clinton films were in the works as the talk of a possible presidential campaign in 2016 heats up. NBC is planning to produce a four-hour miniseries starring Diane Lane about the last 15 years of Clinton's life and career. CNN has commissioned a feature-length documentary that is expected to premiere in 2014 and will open theatrically before airing on the network.
In his letters to both CNN'sJeff Zucker and NBC's Robert Greenblatt, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus expressed "deep disappointment" and called each of their planned specials "a political ad masquerading as an unbiased production." He threatened that the RNC would not partner with either network for the 2016 Republican presidential primary debates if they did not agree to pull the films in the coming days.
CNN responded in a released statement Monday, countering, "Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more."
NBC also emailed a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "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," it said. "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."