HBO to air George H.W. Bush documentary in June

HBO says it will present “an intimate look at the life and career of George H.W. Bush” in the film “41,” debuting in June.

In the documentary, executive-produced by Bush’s great pal Jerry Weintraub, the country’s 41st president talks about what he thinks are his life’s highs and lows.

The movie was written and directed by documentary filmmaker Jeffrey Roth, but Weintraub was brought in as exec producer when Bush called “and asked me to get involved and make sure it was all right,” Weintraub told The TV Column in a phone interview.

“He’s a beautiful, wonderful man and he deserves this — it’s a great birthday present we’re giving him,” Weintraub said of the HBO telecast.

Bush turns 88 on June 12, two days before the film debuts.

Former president George H.W. Bush. (Davis Turner/Getty Images)

The movie is not political, Weintraub insisted: “There’s no political stuff in it. There’s one comment in there that’s political. It’s about Ross Perot.”

Asked what Bush said about Perot, Weintraub shot back, “Not much.”

He declined to elaborate, but he laughed.

“This film is where he let himself go and said everything he wanted to say,” Weintraub said. “You love him when it’s over and thank him for . . . all the years of service he gave to the country. It’s not a Hollywood movie — it’s genuine.

“Not that my movies aren’t genuine,” the producer of “Ocean’s 11,” “The Karate Kid” and “Diner” added quickly. Then he laughed.

“I just caught myself! I sounded like Dan Quayle! Maybe I’ll call Dan and tell him I made a worse mistake than he did — if that’s possible.”

‘GMA’ > ‘Today’

Pending some ratings miracle, ABC’s “Good Morning America” will beat NBC’s “Today” show again this week — only, this time, “Today” star Matt Lauer is not on vacation.

According to fast national data, “GMA” has a 220,000-viewer lead over “Today” through Wednesday morning’s broadcasts. Two weeks ago, when “GMA” beat “Today” for the first time this century — and ended “Today’s” more than 16-year record as the weekly ratings winner — a mere 31,000 viewers separated the two morning infotainment programs. And, that week, Lauer was on vacation.

This week, Matt’s back at work.

Seacrest at Olympics

NBC Sports officially announced Thursday the role that Ryan Seacrest will play in the network’s coverage of the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

The “American Idol” host — and syndicated radio star, heir to the Dick Clark throne, all-things-Kardashian producer and new ESPN-of-pop-culture-network launch partner — will be an “Olympic correspondent.”

That is, if Seacrest does not expire this week from hosting “American Idol,” so as not to interrupt his perfect 11-season attendance record, while suffering from some particularly nasty sickness and looking like a chewed-on sparrow the cat brought in and proudly laid at your feet. For two hours Wednesday night, Seacrest bravely hung on to the backs of the judges’ chairs, sat at pianos, perched on stools and otherwise masked his horrible condition, which did not stop him from hugging and shaking hands with all the judges and Idolettes like Typhoid Mary at a cotillion.

Anyway, Bob Costas hangs on to the plum Olympics gig again this summer, hosting the prime-time portion of NBC’s coverage. The Summer Games are scheduled to begin July 27.

Al Michaels will host NBC’s live weekday and weekend daytime coverage and will be joined by Dan Patrick.

As correspondent, Seacrest will join John McEnroe and famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi. Insert joke here.

Fox’s ‘Fringe’ benefits

Fox has ordered one last season of “Fringe,” its low-rated Friday drama from J.J. Abrams.

The show’s future had been in doubt because the ratings aren’t great and because Fox doesn’t own the show (it’s produced by Warner Bros. TV).

But the outlook got brighter for “Fringe” once Fox canceled “Terra Nova.” Plus, the network and “House” star Hugh Laurie finally decided to put his show out of its misery.

Presumably, Fox got the last 13-episode season at a good price. At the end of this season, Warner Bros. will have about 87 episodes of the paranormal drama.

Ideally, Warner Bros. needed — well, look at that — 13 more episodes to fill in the 100ish-episode library that’s considered ideal when selling a show in off-network syndication.

To read previous columns by Lisa De Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/
tvblog
.

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