Even NBC can’t resist some ’90s nostalgia — only this time, it’s with a political twist.
At TCA over the weekend, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced that the network will air a four-hour miniseries about Hillary Clinton, starring Diane Lane as the former First Lady and Secretary of State. The program, expected to air before Clinton announces a decision about running for President in 2016, will document the time between 1998 and present-day. It’s not based on any particular book and Clinton will not be involved, Greenblatt said. Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) will write and direct the project.
Academy Award-nominee Lane is certainly a buzzy choice for a TV part, and her casting, along with the headline-ready, sure-to-be-controversial subject matter, is part of NBC’s play at “big event” programming that HBO and other cable networks are more typically known for. It’ll be interesting to see who they cast in other notable roles, including husband President Clinton and former-rival-turned-co-worker President Obama.
To really continue the ’90s kick, how much fun would it be to see former Saturday Night Live-r Darrell Hammond return as Clinton? While incredibly unlikely — the network will go with a more actor-y choice — the mere prospect of again seeing Hammond’s spin on the 42nd president would guarantee some more eyeballs. On a more realistic front, what about Ciaran Hinds, Billy Bob Thornton or Martin Sheen (He already has practice portraying a president!)? Considering this is a TV project, many A-list actors that are typically mentioned about playing Clinton — such as Clinton’s own pick of George Clooney — seem unlikely.
For the current President, they’ll need to cast someone who can portray the early enthusiasm as well as the more world-weary current version of number 44. What about Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) or Wood Harris? I can also very easily see this role going to a promising unknown — particularly if whomever they pick as Bill Clinton is already a “name.”
Who would you like to see in the other notable parts opposite Lane? And does starting this project in 1998 mean we should also be casting Monica Lewinsky, or do you think producers will likely just go for archival footage for that role?