Reelzchan­nel: Air­ing Palin movie not po­lit­i­cal

The Washington Times Daily - - Television -

The Reelzchan­nel tele­vi­sion net­work says it sched­uled a pro-sarah Palin doc­u­men­tary on the same week­end as HBO’S “Game Change” de­but strictly for busi­ness con­sid­er­a­tions, not po­lit­i­cal ones.

“The Un­de­feated,” a Palin doc­u­men­tary by con­ser­va­tive film­maker Stephen K. Ban­non, will have its tele­vi­sion pre­miere Sun­day. It will come 23 hours af­ter HBO de­buts “Game Change,” based on the 2008 cam­paign book by Mark Halperin and John Heile­mann, and star­ring Ju­lianne Moore as Mrs. Palin.

Ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press, Stan Hub­bard, Reelzchan­nel CEO, said he li­censed “The Un­de­feated” for the same rea­son his net­work aired “The Kennedys” minis­eries last spring af­ter it was dropped by the His­tory chan­nel — to draw at­ten­tion to a nearly 6-year-old net­work with a low public pro­file. Reelzchan­nel is in 62 mil­lion homes, a lit­tle more than half the coun­try.

“For a young net­work, public re­la­tions is im­por­tant to us, which is why we hunt for op­por­tunis­tic things,” Mr. Hub­bard said.

Mr. Hub­bard said he found the for­mer Alaska gov­er­nor and 2008 GOP vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date a fas­ci­nat­ing fig­ure, but he wasn’t try­ing to li­on­ize her.

“If HBO wanted to swap movies this week­end, I’d do that in a sec­ond,” he said.

Mrs. Palin’s sup­port­ers have at­tacked “Game Change,” although it’s un­clear whether any of them have seen it in ad­vance. Mr. Ban­non called it a “fic­tion­al­ized hit-piece” and has praised Reelzchan­nel’s “coura­geous” decision to air his movie.

The writer and di­rec­tor of “Game Change” both wel­comed “The Un­de­feated” onto TV.

Writer Danny Strong said he was happy for Mr. Ban­non: “It’s hard for a doc­u­men­tary to get any kind of play. I’m not con­cerned at all about com­par­isons to our piece. I just think it’s an­other story, an­other el­e­ment of her life.”

Di­rec­tor Jay Roach said that any time a film can add to the con­ver­sa­tion it’s good. “I’m happy that the two films might stir it up a lit­tle bit,” he said.

Since Reelzchan­nel an­nounced last month that it would air “The Un­de­feated,” Mr. Hub­bard said he has re­ceived about an equal num­ber of let­ters from peo­ple thank­ing him for the decision or say­ing they’d never watch Reelzchan­nel again. sea­son’s win­ner will be heard on a cover of Tim Mcgraw’s “Please Re­mem­ber Me” start­ing Thurs­day on “Idol’s” re­sults show. Wed­nes­day night fea­tures per­for­mances by the top 13 fi­nal­ists, one of whom is slated for elim­i­na­tion.

“I was ec­static and I’m glad to get to be on there. It’s cool to still be con­nected to the show ev­ery week,” Mr. Mccreery told USA To­day.

Be­sides Mr. Mccreery, past “Idol” stars who have recorded the voted­off song in­clude Chris Daugh­try, Car­rie Un­der­wood, David Cook and Ruben Stud­dard.


Scotty Mccreery

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