NBC to Air Hillary Backer's 4-Hour "Hillary" Miniseries

He sounds very much like a devoted Democrat with a certain Illinois-bred New York senator in mind.


The most obviously disconcerting thing about this is that NBC is spending millions to air an infomercial for a political candidate. The heyday of the network miniseries is long over. They hardly exist anymore.

NBC airing any kind of miniseries is already a departure from form. It isn't done anymore outside cable. When networks air them, they order them up as limited series, like Under the Dome, which run in episodic format.

NBC is trying to put its Hillarypalooza into context. "NBC announced three other miniseries, including remakes of horror tales "Rosemary's Baby" and Stephen King's "Tommyknockers."

There's not much in common here. Running horror series is basically different than Hillary the Movie. Tommyknockers will probably be a limited series like Under the Dome.

The pedigree of  Hillarypalooza is more interesting. "Sherryl Clark of Busted Shark will serve as executive producer along with James D. Stern and producers Julie Goldstein and Lucas Smith of Endgame Entertainment."

Mr. Stern, 48, acquired his financial acumen, interest in politics and even his ties to basketball at the knee of his father, Richard J. Stern, a wealthy Chicago entrepreneur, part-owner of the N.B.A.'s Bulls and prominent Democratic donor. In 2003, the younger Mr. Stern, who also manages the family's investment fund, set up a fund of his own, Endgame Entertainment, with a term of three years, as a way for him to establish a track record as a film producer.

Bill Clinton nominated Richard J. Stern to the National Council of the Arts. Stern is a Hillary donor. And even the New York Times thought that Stern's Hillary sympathies were obvious.

"If Mr. Stern has shown a knack for juggling dual agendas as a financier and filmmaker, meanwhile, he may have a third motive for pushing to get his film in front of audiences: he sounds very much like a devoted Democrat trying to shake his party into fixing its problems in time for the next election - and with a certain Illinois-bred New York senator in mind.

"As we go forward at first into 2006, and then into 2008, I think this movie will be even more relevant, and I think the audience for it is expanding," he said in an interview. "You're going to go out and nominate a candidate in the Democratic Party. The question is, Can she win a place like Ohio?"

Subtle. Now this is the guy whose Hillary miniseries NBC has snapped up. NBC really is becoming a state propaganda network.