NBC canceled a planned hour-long special about Brangelina’s divorce


I’ve been so tunnel-visioned with the Brangelina Split that I haven’t even considered what the media strategy will be long-term. There’s so much that still has to happen short-term: the DCFS investigation needs to be completed (which could take a while, we don’t know); Brad needs to counter-file divorce papers; and possibly Angelina and Brad, separately or together, might need to actually release a thorough statement or statements on what happened. That’s the short-term, more immediate stuff. But eventually, both Brad and Angelina will – separately – arrange for their first television interviews to tell their side of the story. That will happen at some point. And networks are already vying for position, which is how NBC ended up canceling their last-minute Brangelina Special.

NBC’s in-house production company Peacock Productions has abruptly pulled the plug on a one-hour special on the breakup of Brangelina, Page Six has exclusively learned. When the show was scuttled, speculation spread among TV insiders that the reason for the about-face was that there’s now so much heated interest in landing a sit-down with Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt, NBC News feared burning bridges with the ex-power couple.

But sources close to the production said it was actually commissioned by Lifetime — which pulled the plug at the eleventh hour. A source told Page Six, “It was Lifetime’s vice president of nonfiction programming who pulled it,” and that they greenlighted the show, then quickly decided not to pursue it.

“The special was canceled at the last minute — the show had already booked talking heads, hair and makeup, B-roll . . . Staffers were working to slam it all together,” a source told us of the project. “Now they’re all like, ‘F - - k! We just did all this work for nothing?’”

The source added there was buzz that the special was, “canceled at the last minute because NBC was terrified that if they upset Brad or Angie, they wouldn’t get a sit-down [with either].”

Another veteran network exec sighed: “Every journalist in the world is going after that exclusive. It’s as big as it gets.” But a source explained the doc was not for NBC News but Lifetime, which commissioned the Brangelina project last Thursday before axing the plan. We’re told the network usually only makes behind-the-scenes docs relating to its dramatic movies. (On Wednesday, Lifetime announced casting for a Britney Spears biopic with Nathan Keyes playing Justin Timberlake.) Peacock sent out e-mails last week to news outlets — including Page Six, which did not participate — asking them to take part in the Brangelina special. The e-mails did not mention Lifetime.

[From Page Six]

Angelina is the one with a better relationship with NBC, historically. But her relationship was mostly with Ann Curry, who got sh-tcanned from the Today Show several years back. Jolie and Curry were pretty loyal to each other, part of Curry’s exit package was that she was supposed to be able to do these kinds of specials and magazine-style interviews. If Angelina did go to NBC again, I wonder if she would demand a sit-down with Curry? Because Matt Lauer is the worst. Matt Lauer would just interrupt Angelina and mansplain divorce. As for Brad… he’s given some exclusives to NBC in the past, but I always thought he was more loyal to Diane Sawyer at ABC. He’ll definitely want to speak to a female journalist this time around. Because he’ll need to cry (which shouldn’t be difficult).


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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57 Responses to “NBC canceled a planned hour-long special about Brangelina’s divorce”

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  1. Tiffany says:

    Hasn’t Ann’s contract expired. I can see AJ sitting down with Al Roker, they did a couple of interviews for Unbroken and had a good rapport.

  2. Brittney B. says:

    NBC/Universal also produced (and heavily promoted) Unbroken, so her ties to them run deeper than Curry.

  3. nikko says:

    Why is everyone so upset with Brad on Celebitchy? It’s a sad situation for both and it’s a shame its being aired out in public.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Maybe because he admitted to being drunk around his kids on an airplane? Maybe because he admitted to getting verbally and physically aggressive with one of his children?

      Yes, it’s sad, but he admitted to two serious problem behaviors as a parent.

      If he gets help, is honest, and tells the tabloids to back off about his (likely to-be-ex wife/mother of his children), people will be more supportive, I’m sure.

      • Kate says:

        To be fair on the first point, I travel a lot, and on every long-haul flight at least half the people traveling with children over 5-ish are drunk or knocked out by sleeping pills within an hour or two of boarding. That in itself isn’t unusual behavior, and it’s even more common in first class where a lot of people have brought along an assistant or nanny.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      It’s a sad sutiation all around, but it’s annoying how Brad gets a pass in every single breakup while the women are evil and hurt poor Brad.

      But, why on Earth was there an hour long speacila on a celebrtiy divorce? So stupid.

      • Brittney B. says:

        Same reason Tomb Raider and Troy were playing simultaneously on two sister channels yesterday, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith was playing on both of them the night before… programmers and broadcasters are as opportunistic as ever with these two.

        On that note… is anyone else watching Mary + Jane on MTV? Snoop Dogg produces it. The pilot featured suuuuper satirical versions of Brad, Angelina, and the kids. The main characters were delivering weed to their house and interacting with their neglected kids. A week or two after it aired, the divorce and weed/child abuse stories started coming. Pretty bizarre timing.

      • Azurea says:

        Because the mainstream media doesn’t want you paying attention to the real and immediate issues in the world.

    • swak says:

      Because the tabs are making him out to be the wronged one and Angie the bad guy. All information on both Angie and Brad are from “sources”. I won’t believe any of it until it comes directly from Brad and/or Angie. For the children’s sake, I wished this had been done more privately but neither have control of “sources” unless they are leaking these things themselves through others.

    • Carla says:

      This comment would make sense if this was an amicable split.

    • MC2 says:

      It’s because the majority of tabloids aren’t being equal in their reporting and are painting her in a negative light- a lot of people feel unfairly. I am sure that a lot of women feel close to the story of someone getting divorced and being vilified……for getting divorced. Here is what this site said about this today on another post to sum it up:

      “So on one side you have a guy who screams bloody murder into his teenage son’s face and possibly caused physical damage to a private plane. On the other side you have a woman who might be a bit cold and bitchy to Brad’s friends’ rent-a-dates. TOTALLY EQUAL! Such plotting. Much destruction. Icy Bitch Realness.”

  4. Colette says:

    Angelina seems to have a friendly relationship with Tom Brokaw.He has interviewed her three or four times,the last time with Brad.

  5. Alix says:

    The fact that they were even planning this is hilarious.

    • Jen says:

      It would have been so embarrassing for them….not to mention would probably just be a boring recap of their entire relationship.

      • Lindsay says:

        I do think from her statement, choice of attorney, the almost negligible separation period, the coy alligations put out there that this was triggered by one incident, and the fact she was asking for physical custody they sensed drama. Now with more facts coming out they are disappointed.

    • Val says:

      I know right? An HOUR-LONG discussion of someone’s divorce/relationship! Jesus Christ.

      • KB says:

        Lifetime has done much worse than that

      • lucy2 says:

        I can’t believe they were planning an hour of this either. Ridiculous. Of course they will report on it, but an hour long special??? Especially in the midst of the most insane election in history, and all the other craziness going on.

      • Kate says:

        It’s one thing on a gossip/entertainment site to discuss it amongst ourselves, but to produce and package it for broad consumption is beyond the pale.

      • Jwoolman says:

        And the ink is hardly dry just on the filing! What were they thinking?!? So tacky and so premature. Hey, use that time for election coverage, you twits.

    • popup says:

      UGH, just the worst idea ever! And the notion that Brad and/or Angelina would do a sit-down interview when the divorce papers were filed just last week is ridiculous.

    • boredblond says:

      Really–an hour ‘special’ because two actors are splitting up..like that’s rare.

  6. Who ARE These People? says:

    If they need to fill an hour with a good divorce story, there’s probably still footage on Donald and Ivana Trump.

    (And I’ll pre-empt future comments on Bill Clinton’s White House affair with Monica Lewinsky by saying I know, I know…okay, maybe half an hour to each. But if it’s nasty divorce they want…it’s Trump all the way.)

    • Annie says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • MC2 says:

      Please! For the love of god- please! We have a man who raped his wife who could become president. Beside that big bombshell they would be an interesting couple to cover. She was very successful in his business and he wasn’t opposed to using her for work but he bored at her ability to carry on (or carry over him) a conversation about business. I’d love a special on them…..and her now famous clause to never say anything bad about him (hence the rape being watered down to abuse & then a sexual violation).

      That seems more newsworthy the Brangelina……

  7. Minxx says:

    Good Lord! I hope this doesn’t happen. It’s just so tabloid-y and invasive. Horrible for the kids to have face this kind of footage later on . Just like Princess Diana’s famous Panorama interview. Cringe-worthy. I hope they don’t do it.

  8. Zuzus Girl says:

    Idioticidea from the start. It should be none of our business.

  9. Adorable says:

    Guess I’m the only one who still believes these two,will get back together again…as in I don’t believe the divorce will go through..

    • merlot says:

      @Adorable…I would love that too. I think they are so busy and stressed with their commitments it must have been like ships passing in the night and becoming increasingly disconnected. They were beautiful together but I don’t see Angelina as the type to change her mind.

    • Kate says:

      The leaks on this thing went from 0 to extremely nasty within a few hours of the divorce news breaking…both sides have come out swinging real hard immediately, and they’re both trying to paint the other in the worst possible light.

      That really doesn’t suggest there’s a relationship worth saving here. If anything it seems they stayed together a few years too long and they’ve been hovering around the final stages of barely buried rage and resentment for a while now.

    • Colette says:

      I think it’s possible.Neither one of them has “uttered a bad word about the other”.Like I said yesterday I don’t believe most of this inside source stuff because the stories on both side are conflicting.I believe most ,like 75 percent, of this stories are made up because a lot of this stuff has been said for years.

      • merlot says:

        Well apparently People magazine their business partner has said that Chateau Miraval is not for sale. So a ray of hope?

    • Eve says:

      I’m sorry, Adorable, but I hope SHE moves on. I know this is a cliché but she’s a force of nature.

      Pitt? He can keep trying to emulate his next hookups’s personalities because dude has none of his own.

  10. Neelyo says:

    NBC has really gone downhill. This is like E! True Hollywood Story level crap.

  11. Rocio says:

    There’s something fishy going on…you just don’t walk away after 12 years without a solid reason. Because you don’t become a bad parent overnight. Unless she had waited this long which makes her a lousy parent too.

  12. The Original Mia says:

    Awful idea. This is a family. There are children involved.

  13. stinky says:

    No one should really be surprised to see something like this…
    Get ready for LOTS of “new lows”.
    Are you kidding me? Look at the state of our election campaign.
    Look who is ACTUALLY ON THE STAGE right now.
    Irreverence & intolerance for EVERYTHING is the new black.
    And speaking of black – the law enforcement community in this country are scaring the living sh&t outta me… it would appear that no ones yet told them to stop shooting people who don’t need to be shot at. I could go on… but why.
    This country right now – I’m sorry – but its grossing me out.
    And before anyone suggests that I go find one that I like better, don’t worry – I’ve been looking and traveling for some time now. …
    I’ve got a gameplan.

    • crazydaisy says:

      Stinky, I’m with you!

    • Snowflake says:


      It’s crazy the way this country is going. All I can say is people vote in Trump, they are going to get they deserve. I’m very scared and upset. My husband and his cousin’s boyfriend are big and black. They are teddy bears and sweethearts but if some racist cop were to pull either of them over, they would probably see them as a “bad dude.” Very scary time for America right now. If we elect Trump, the racism will get worse and more openly blatant, as it has already.

    • Crumpet says:

      Good for you. No one should have to live in a country with which they are unhappy.

  14. Frost says:

    it’s a measure of how desperate networks are for viewers that a one-hour special of any celebrity divorce was even considered. Glad it got cancelled. Jesus.

  15. Ramy says:

    There’s something I don’t get . No official statements from angie and brad since the divorce thing started it has been more than a week now .the both known for working in high privacy. Maybe they asked Nbc to cancelled it
    Maybe they are working it out .it hope they will surprise the world I really do

  16. sanders says:

    hmmm…wonder if either one of them will donate the proceeds of ‘an exclusive interview’ to their favorite charity?

  17. Embee says:

    No matter recent events, I believe that Brad and Angie are basically on the same page with publicity and parenting their kids. If Brad is getting help with his substance use, I can see A giving him (and the kids) the space and support to accomplish his recovery, and move on as co-parents. The sole physical custody was her shot across the bow, letting him know he seriously needs to get his ish together.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear NOTHING from either for a long time, and in the future only very vague references to challenges and working through them for the good of the family.

    • cherrypie says:

      I completely agree Embee and as Ive said before, I think most of these “leaks” and unnamed “sources” are tabloid fabrication. Lainey refers to “World War Brange” but I dont see that. Apart from the initial statment from either side this divorce seems to be more media hype than anything.

  18. Adorable says:

    @EMBEE I completely agree…I remember seeing Brad tear up as Angelina was going through her Double masc….& I Remeber thinking This man really loves his woman!..obviously they fight/disagree as all couples & I just feel Angie’s divorce file was sort of a “cry for help”in that Brad I love you,but get your self in order sort of deal…also with the 10th anniversary of Angie’s mom being next year..There’s just too much there I feel to just let go of..Esp in this public manner

  19. LAK says:

    Dear Brad AND Angelina,


    See fallout from Diana’s Panorama Interview.

    The world.

  20. AuntSass says:

    Thank God. Think of the kids. No one needs an hour of this.

  21. Crumpet says:

    This just seems so very weird to me – that they would have sit down interviews about their divorce. Why? It’s not anybody’s business but their own at the end of the day, although it has provided some great talking points about how the media twists things (not that we didn’t already know that).

    I imagine Brad will be required by the courts to complete an alcohol and drug rehab program as part of his custody agreement. Probably anger management as well. I doubt they will go with supervised visitation, as that is very damaging for children, and they try to avoid it if at all possible. I am predicting joint custody with the children residing primarily with Angelina. I hope she settles down somewhere with them – they need stability more than anything right now.

  22. Soror Bro says:

    “NBC canceled a planned hour-long special about Brangelina’s divorce”

    It’d be more economical to write:

    NBC canceled a planned hour-long special about Brangeleaveya.