It’s open season again on Princess Diana.
With the 20th anniversary of her fatal car crash approaching on Aug. 31, the woman whose marriage to a not-so-charming prince led to celebrity that neither divorce nor death could diminish is back in television’s crosshairs.
And just as in the days when paparazzi dogged her every step, Diana remains both highly visible and stubbornly elusive in ABC News’ two-hour special Sunday, “The Last 100 Days of Diana.” Hosted by British journalist (and former “Nightline” anchor and MSNBC host) Martin Bashir, whose 1995 interview with the princess about her broken marriage apparently persuaded the queen that the warring couple, already separated, should divorce.
Bashir, who’s never sounded more unctuous as he talks about the “wounded princess,” is focused on a period that might well have proved a blip had Diana, who was 36 when she died, lived to see her sons grow up and her grandchildren replace her on the cover of People.
Following close on the heels of Friday’s two-hour NBC News special “The Life and Death of Princess Diana: A Dateline Investigation,” and HBO’s announcement of a documentary later this year to be built around interviews with Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, “The Last 100 Days” won’t be television’s last word on the late princess. Or even ABC’s.
“The Story of Diana,” a two-night documentary mini-series from ABC’s entertainment division, is scheduled to air Aug. 9-10. On May 22, CBS News weighs in with “Princess Diana: Her Life — Her Death — The Truth,” a special produced by the “48 Hours” team that will be hosted by “CBS This Morning’s” Gayle King.
There almost certainly will be others before FX’s “Feud: Charles and Diana” arrives in 2018.
Facebook to close Oculus studio
Oculus VR will close its Emmy-winning cinematic-content division, Story Studio, to focus instead on funding others’ storytelling projects.
The Facebook-owned virtual reality company said in a blog post Thursday that shifting away from producing its own content will free up resources allowing it to explore “exciting but unsolved problems in (augmented reality) and (virtual reality) hardware and software.” “We’re still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem,” Jason Rubin, Oculus’ vice president of content, said in the post.
More bad Fox News
The sexual harassment scandal that has enveloped Fox News is now posing a threat to the parent company 21st Century Fox’s deal to take full ownership of the European satellite TV service Sky.
Douglas Wigdor, the attorney whose firm represents 20 plaintiffs in sexual harassment and racial discrimination cases against Fox News, has been invited to appear before the Office of Communications, also known as Ofcom, the British regulatory body reviewing whether 21st Century Fox can be a fit owner of Sky.
Wigdor’s testimony will follow an appearance by Wendy Walsh, the radio psychologist who went public with her harassment complaint against Fox News.
Actress Julia Whelan (“Once and Again”) is 33. … Singer Enrique Iglesias is 42. … Actress Melissa Gilbert is 53. … Drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen is 64. … Drummer Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and of Tom Tom Club is 66.