NEW YORK — The ReelzChannel television network says it scheduled a pro-Sarah Palin documentary on the same weekend as HBO’s “Game Change” debut strictly for business considerations, not political ones.
“The Undefeated,” a Palin documentary by conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, will have its television premiere on Sunday. It will come 23 hours after HBO opens “Game Change,” based on the 2008 campaign book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, and starring Julianne Moore as Palin.
Stan Hubbard, ReelzChannel CEO, said he licensed “The Undefeated” for the same reason that his network aired “The Kennedys” miniseries last spring after it was dropped by the History channel — to draw attention to a nearly six-year-old network with a low public profile. ReelzChannel is in 62 million homes, a little more than half the country.
“For a young network, public relations is important to us, which is why we hunt for opportunistic things,” Hubbard said.
He said he found the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate a fascinating figure, but he wasn’t trying to lionize her.
“If HBO wanted to swap movies this weekend, I’d do that in a second,” he said.
Palin supporters have attacked “Game Change,” although it’s unclear whether any of them has seen it in advance. “The Undefeated” maker Bannon called it a “fictionalized hit-piece” and has praised ReelzChannel’s “courageous” decision to air his movie.
“Game Change,” co-starring Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris, actually strives for a balanced portrait, showing Palin overwhelmed at times after being thrust onto the presidential ticket and lashing out at some McCain aides, but connecting with audiences and performing on big stages better than many critics and supporters expected.
“The Undefeated” focuses first on Palin’s life as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, as that state’s governor and on the 1998 campaign.
Bee Gees’ Gibb ready to return
LONDON – Bee Gees star Robin Gibb will return to the stage after a serious illness for a performance of his requiem for victims of the Titanic disaster.
Gibb will attend the Royal Philharmonic’s premiere performance of “The Titanic Requiem” in London April 10, and will perform a new song, “Don’t Cry Alone.”
More than 1,500 people died when the ocean liner hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912.
Gibb, 62, was hospitalized last year for stomach and colon problems, but he’s feeling better now.
Palin’s keeping Tuesday’s vote to herself
WASHINGTON – Sarah Palin cast a vote Tuesday night for one of the Republican presidential candidates. But for whom?
A CNN producer caught the former vice presidential nominee after she voted in a presidential preference poll at the Alaska district convention in her home town of Wasilla.
She wouldn’t reveal her vote, but she did say she wants the nominating process to continue, and that she would not rule out being an option for Republicans in the case of a brokered convention.
“I want more people to have a say in who the nominee should be,” Palin told the network.
Asked if she would be open to having her name put on the floor for the nomination, Palin said: “Anything is possible.”
Bieber’s mom inks book deal
TORONTO – The mother of pop star Justin Bieber has signed a book deal to tell the story of the role she played in her son’s rise to superstardom. The book is title “Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom.”
Revell Books, publisher of “Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom,” said Pattie Mallette will share details of the trauma, abuse and addiction that plagued her early childhood and young adult years, leading to a suicide attempt when she was 17.
The Stratford, Ontario, native became pregnant at age 18 and gave birth to Bieber in 1994.
The book, written in collaboration with A.J. Gregory, will include a foreward by Bieber.