Broadcast network television has been hemorrhaging viewers over the last several years. The increasing popularity of complex, well-written cable dramas like Mad Men and Breaking Bad has raised the bar for TV. Networks like the perpetually-ailing NBC are slowly figuring out that they can no longer get by with a few sloppy game shows and hour-long dramas about Debra Messing’s scarf collection (sorry, Megan Hilty — you were wonderful). They’re going to have to up the entertainment ante a little bit, which means making a Hillary Clinton miniseries in time to precede the 2016 presidential election.
Since we’re talking about NBC, there are some minor logistical quibbles to raise right from the get-go. First of all, Hillary Clinton — although an almost for-sure 2016 presidential candidate — hasn’t officially announced that she’s running in 2016. With NBC’s recent bad luck, Hillary Clinton could totally decide that she’d much rather not go through all the trouble of running for president and instead spend the rest of her days watching cable dramas with her stay-at-home husband. Hillary, the four-hour miniseries that NBC is planning, sort of depends on Clinton’s looming presidential campaign. If she doesn’t run, it’ll be culturally irrelevant, like a Game Change set in a universe where John McCain briefly considered choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate only to eventually pick Joe Lieberman.