Emmy nods soothe 'Reagan's producers

July 16, 2004 at 12:51 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 16 (UPI) -- Producers of "The Reagans" said seven Emmy nominations were "salve for the wounds" from controversy over the TV movie, The Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

After political conservatives objected, CBS abandoned plans to air the movie last November. The network's parent company, Viacom Inc., ran the movie on its cable channel, Showtime.

"We always wanted this movie to be judged on its merits, and not on the merits of the controversy," executive producer Neil Meron said.

The project was nominated for best TV movie, and its stars -- James Brolin as Ronald Reagan and Judy Davis as Nancy Reagan -- were nominated for acting Emmys.

"It really is reaffirming that in America, there is still freedom of speech, and you can make the movie you want to make and it will get shown," said Meron's producing partner, Cragi Zadan. "For a while we were wondering."

However, Zadan said networks seem to have become more cautious about the projects they order.

"It's easier for them to do something that's not controversial," he said, "and that's disappointing."

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