CNN Lands Lengthy Interviews With Presidential Candidates, Romney Declines NBC Mormonism Special

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Finally some good news for the struggling network: CNN has booked interviews with President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney for 90-minute documentaries to air prior to the start of their respective parties' conventions. "Both profiles feature interviews with the candidates, members of their inner circles who know them best, and perspectives from people they have encountered on their separate paths to political prominence," reads the CNN press release. The documentaries will help the network maintain its image as the nonpartisan political reporting station, if only until it hits the panic switch and launches a slew of reality television programs that we imagine might include Beard Wars, with Wolf Blitzer.

CNN chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin will take the reins for Obama Revealed: The Man, The President, set to air on Monday, September 3, before the Democratic National Convention. Analyst Gloria Borger will report for the August 26 documentary Romney Revealed: Family, Faith, and the Road to Power, in which Borger "speaks with Romney’s childhood friends, travels to France to retrace his days as a Mormon missionary, and to Belmont, Massachusetts, where he was a church leader, and speaks with some of his congregants."

Yet NBC News struck out with Romney on repeated requests to interview him for a special about Mormon faith to air this Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Said the show's executive producer Rome Hartman: “What we set out to do very broadly is not an hour on Mitt Romney but an hour about the religion that has played a very important role in shaping who he is."

It's not surprising that Romney passed as he rarely discusses his faith, a subject Frank Rich explored in a magazine feature. But all is not lost for NBC: The network interviewed a Mormon cast member from Trey Parker's and Matt Stone's Broadway show The Book of Mormon.