“Nixon’s the One” is based on hours of verbatim White House recordings Nixon made between February of 1971 and July of 1973 — conversations he had with his aides and confidants, including Henry Kissinger, who will be played by Henry Goodman.
Addressing a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch Tuesday in London, Shearer said he’d sold his little Oval Office-set comedy to a U.K. network first because U.S. network suits wouldn’t get the joke (see Discovery documentary, above) — and because the American scene these days is too politically shrill.
“I knew it would not be done the way I wanted it in the U.S.,” he told the crowd, according to various reporters who attended.
“In the U.S., Nixon is still regarded as a highly political character, whereas this is a nonpolitical show. . . . The show lacks the surface controversy that would have made it a sell in the U.S.,” Shearer added, according to accounts in the Guardian and the trade paper Variety.
“It’s not about Watergate or Vietnam, but about Nixon as a character,” Shearer said. “There are so many conversations on the tape that are profoundly revealing of what a strangely twisted . . . guy he was,” he said, according to Variety’s London office.
Shearer is a regular on Fox’s “The Simpsons” who’s best known for voicing Mr. Burns and Waylon Smithers. He has also voiced Bill Clinton for “The Simpsons” and released an album of tunes about George W. Bush.
Shearer acknowledged that he’s obsessed with Nixon, the trade paper the Hollywood Reporter said in its coverage of the lunch.
For years, Shearer has worked on the tapes — which were released by the Nixon Presidential Library in 2008 — with Nixon scholar and University of Wisconsin professor Stanley Kutler.
Only now is Shearer trying to sell the show to a U.S. network, he told attendees, adding: “I could see this working as an acquisition for someone like HBO.”
‘Jeopardy!’ in D.C.
The syndicated quiz show “Jeopardy!” has released the names of the “power players” who will participate in its annual Power Players Week in Washington, playing for charities of their choosing.
Once again, the list includes no sitting political figures, who are too skittish about competing in a test of knowledge.
Instead, once again, the list is thick with media types, and Power Players Week will be an exercise in picking lice off each other’s backs. You know: “Hardball” star Chris Matthews promotes “Jeopardy!” And “Jeopardy!” promotes Matthews and “Hardball.” Everybody wins, and some charities get some money.
Yes, MSNBC’s Matthews is returning to compete on the show; he’ll be joined by CNN (and syndicated talk-show host) Anderson Cooper. CNBC’s David Faber. BBC World News America’s Katty Kay, Kelly O’Donnell of NBC News, CNN’s Lizzie O’Leary, Fox News Channel’s Dana Perino, NBC’s Chuck Todd and Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace.