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Published On: Fri, Nov 16th, 2012

NBC to focus on George Washington for TV series, angers critics over tone

“History is written by winners, yet there are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth,” NBC’s logline for its “George Washington” project read.

John Trumbull (1756-1843) painting

“What’s so interesting is here was a man who was more instrumental to what our country is today and more famous than any other figure in our history, and yet no one knows anything about him,” director Barry Levinson said. “We know the myth of the man, but the reality was he was a flawed and troubled character who overcame his flaws to become one of the foremost leaders of this nation.”

Focusing on a sex scandal and Washington’s vanity, the network is angering critics that the planned show sounds like a smear of the first President.

“There is no enigma to George Washington.  He is very simple to understand.  Where is the enigma?” Glenn Beck said about the NBC press release.

“And isn’t that interesting how they also mix in some truth there, not the tale of the man who chopped down the cherry tree, which was not true.  But his true character has already been revealed, but they mix in that little truth that, okay, he didn’t chop down the cherry tree.  Now you’re supposed to buy into all the rest of this garbage that’s about to come,” Pat Gray added.

This is from NBC:

With United States’ 16th President Abraham Lincoln back in the cultural zeitgeist with Steven Spielberg’s feature biopic, NBC hopes to do the same on the TV side with the nation’s first president. The network has put in development George Washington (working title), a drama series from Oscar-winning writer David Seidler (The King’s Speech), Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana and NBCU International Prods’ Carnival Films & Television, the company behind phenom Downton Abbey.

After taking on Britain’s King George VI in King’s Speech, U.K. writer Seidler will now tackle the American commander who led the country’s war for independence from the British Kingdom. He will write the script based on the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life. Levinson intends to direct the pilot.

George Washington is described as an intimate look at the enigmatic leader who became the father of a nation on one side of the Atlantic and a terrorist on the other, a man to be eliminated at all costs by the British Crown. As episodes move back and forth through the war hero and President’s life and tell the little-known and unlikely story of his survival and triumph, his true character is revealed for the first time. And he is not the man who chopped down the cherry tree.

“There’s George Washington the national icon, gazing out from the dollar bill with his  mouthful of supposedly wooden teeth, and then there’s the George Washington who had an adulterous affair with his best friend’s wife,” Seidler said. “The George Washington obsessed with social status, finely-tailored clothes, his image. Not an icon, a very human human-being, who learned how to lead. That’s the man I want to understand.”

 

 

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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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