Showtime has moved up the airdate of The Reagans, the controversial miniseries CBS passed on earlier this month. The Reagans will air at 8 p.m. on November 30 in one block running two hours and 50 minutes. Upon acquiring The Reagans from CBS, Showtime had indicated that it would air as early as March, but the cable network decided to accelerate the premiere in order to capitalize on the vigorous debate still roiling over the program. "People just keep talking about this movie," said Robert Greenblatt, the out president of entertainment at Showtime. "Instead of making judgments in an abstract way, people will now get to see what it really is."
A controversial line in the film in which Reagan addresses the AIDS crisis--"They that live in sin shall die in sin"--has been deleted, according to Greenblatt, but the rest of the scene was not removed from the movie. Greenblatt characterized the final cut as remaining largely faithful to the original version delivered to CBS by its producers, who huddled with Showtime in recent weeks to work on the latest edit of the show. Several minutes and commercial breaks were trimmed to reduce the miniseries, which was originally scheduled to run over two nights beginning November 16, into one movie.
In support of The Reagans, Showtime will also host a roundtable discussion about the movie's accuracy featuring commentators from both sides of the aisle. That program is scheduled to air December 1, but the network has not yet finalized the list of panelists.