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'The Reagans' Miniseries Gets Multiple Emmy Nominations

  • Susan Jones Morning Editor
  • Published Jul 15, 2004
'The Reagans' Miniseries Gets Multiple Emmy Nominations
( - The TV miniseries "The Reagans," denounced by many conservatives as a liberal attempt to rewrite history, received seven Emmy nominations on Thursday, including one in the outstanding made-for-TV movie category.

Actor James Brolin -- who played Ronald Reagan in the miniseries -- received an acting nomination, along with Judy Davis, who played Nancy Reagan. Brolin is the husband of liberal activist Barbra Streisand.

Complaints from conservatives prompted CBS to cancel "The Reagans," which was supposed to air on the network last November. Instead, CBS shifted "The Reagans" to its sister pay-cable network, Showtime.

Conservatives were particularly upset by the miniseries' unflattering portrayal of Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

"Their reputations are smeared by a collection of Hollywood liberal screenwriters and actors who concoct false events and statements in a desperate attempt to redefine the Reagan Legacy," said the conservative group Move America Forward, which led the effort to have the miniseries pulled off CBS.

"What's worse," Move America Forward noted at the time, "these leftist activists have the poor taste to assail the Reagans even as President Reagan battles bravely against the ravages of Alzheimers -- with his wife Nancy loyally by his side."

President Ronald Reagan died last month, and the national outpouring of grief and affection reportedly surprised and touched his family.

Move America Forward said its November 2003 campaign to defend Ronald Reagan was particularly important for young people who were not born when Reagan was president -- and would be "denied the opportunity to know the truth about this great man" if the miniseries aired on network television.

Excepts from the movie script - which found their way into the press -- indicated that the miniseries would depict Reagan as having a callous disregard for AIDS patients. Conservatives particularly objected to one scene, where Reagan told his wife, "They who live in sin shall die in sin."

The script also failed to mention Reagan's historic role in the demise of communism and the economic recovery that happened on his watch.

President Reagan's daughter Patti Davis called the script idiotic.

Writing in Time magazine last November, Davis said of the miniseries, "Everyone is a caricature, manufactured and inauthentic.

"My father is depicted as some demented evangelist, going on about Armageddon every chance he gets. My mother is cast as a female Attila the Hun, and I and my siblings are unrecognizable to me."

The Emmy Awards are scheduled to air Sept. 19 on ABC. Actor-comedian Garry Shandling will host the event.

For the record, "Angels in America," an HBO miniseries about New Yorkers affected by the AIDS crisis in the 1980s (the Reagan era), received the most Emmy nominations on Thursday -- 21 of them.

"The Sopranos" received 20 nominations, the most of any TV series.

See Earlier Story:
Cancelled Reagan Miniseries Was 'a Stinker,' Says Critic (5 Nov. 2003)