NBC (search) has pulled the plug on its ambitious 9/11 miniseries.
The eight-hour movie, based on the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report (search), was pulled because it was just too expensive to recreate the attacks and their aftermath, reports Variety.
The project's projected $20-million budget and the threat of a competing ABC (search) movie also based on the 9/11 terror plot were just too much, said sources. Rushing the miniseries to beat ABC might have been even more disastrous, they said, so halting the project emerged as the best option.
The scripts had been completed and much of the early preparations were complete.
ABC's project is said to be still on track and several actors — including Harvey Keitel — have been approached about the project.
It is a rare for NBC chief Jeff Zucker to kill a project just as it was about to begin filming. Last month, NBC execs made a great deal of noise about the 9/11 film — and its big name producers, Imagine Entertainment's Ron Howard and Brian Grazer — at its annual upfront presentation to advertisers.
Officials at NBC and Imagine declined to comment.
Industry insiders said that execs killed the 9/11 project just weeks after it became clear that NBC would lose up to $1 billion in the so-called upfront ad market.