By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES, July 27 NBC plans to air a
four-hour miniseries starring Diane Lane as former U.S.
Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton, part of the
broadcast TV network's strategy to improve its ratings by luring
viewers to one-time event programming.
The part of Bill Clinton has not been cast, NBC
Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said on Saturday at a
meeting of the Television Critics Association.
The miniseries about the once, and possibly future,
presidential candidate will "recount Clinton's life as a wife,
mother, politician and cabinet member" from 1998 to the present,
an NBC statement said.
Titled "Hillary," it will start with Clinton living in the
White House while her husband is serving his second term.
The series will likely air before candidates start jumping
into the next U.S. presidential race in the spring or summer of
2015, Greenblatt said, responding to a question about whether
the network would face demands for equal time from opponents.
Hillary Clinton is not involved in the series, he said, and
the script has yet to be written.
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, declined to
The Clinton project and other miniseries are part of
Comcast-owned NBC's effort to lift its prime-time
ratings and draw live audiences to one-time events, a defense
against later viewing on digital video recorders that makes
programs less valuable to advertisers.
For the TV season that ended in May, NBC finished last among
the four big broadcasters in total viewers, and third in viewers
in the advertiser-prized 18- to 49-year-old range, according to
Its two biggest ratings hits - "Sunday Night Football" and
singing contest "The Voice" - draw large live audiences.
"We need to be in the event business," Greenblatt said. "I
think you will hear that from every broadcast network."
NBC announced three other miniseries, including remakes of
horror tales "Rosemary's Baby" and Stephen King's
"Tommyknockers." It is also developing "Plymouth," a series from
Mark Burnett about the Pilgrims' journey across the Atlantic and
settlement in America.
Burnett is working on a previously announced sequel to "The
Bible" for NBC.
NBC also said February's Winter Olympics broadcast will
include a documentary about the 1994 figure-skating rivalry
between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, featuring interviews
with both. Kerrigan, who was clubbed above the knee in an attack
planned by Harding's ex-husband and bodyguard but went on to win
a silver medal at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway, has
said little about the incident in the two decades since.
Walt Disney Co's ESPN earlier this week announced
its own documentary called "Tonya and Nancy." The network said
it had not yet persuaded Kerrigan to do an interview.