TV Article

Trickle Down

''The Reagans'' will air on Showtime on Nov. 30. The cable network has decided to air the much-discussed show earlier than planned

Is ''The Reagans'' less offensive on premium cable than it would have been on CBS? The world will find out Nov. 30, when the controversial Ron-and-Nancy biopic airs on Showtime, just two weeks after its scheduled airing on CBS, according to the New York Times. Showtime picked up ''The Reagans'' after CBS (also owned by parent company Viacom) dropped it amidst furious claims it was unfair to the former president.

The network had originally intended to air it sometime next year, but decided instead to capitalize on the attention it gained with its aborted CBS airing. ''We decided that the film needed to be seen as soon as possible,'' Showtime chairman Matt Blank told the Times. Blank added that despite protests over the show's depiction of the Reagans, Showtime didn't order any politically motivated changes.

''We did not edit this movie for politics,'' Blank told the Times. ''We cut nothing to tone it down.'' But the most controversial moment in ''The Reagans'' -- in which the president (played by James Brolin) says AIDS sufferers deserve their fate because they ''live in sin'' -- will not be broadcast.  Perhaps they're saving that version for an even less-watched network -- Starz, this could be your big break.

Originally posted Nov 18, 2003
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