One for the Gipper? “The Reagan Show,” a documentary built from more than 1,000 hours of rare archival film, premieres on CNN at 9 p.m. EDT on Monday.
“As a new television-savvy president wields his unique brand of politics from the White House on the world stage, the film explores an earlier president’s novel approach to communications,” the cable news network notes in advance production notes.
Early reviews of the project suggests there are comparisons made to the current president.
“Even though Reagan shares a celebrity background with President Donald Trump as well as an ability to capture attention, the similarities end there,” noted Variety, which framed it as a comparison between a “Hollywood star” and a “reality TV star.”
It is an ambitious documentary, though. Filmmakers Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill pored over many hours of original footage from the U.S. Naval Photographic unit which documented Reagan’s eight years in the White House and ultimately was preserved by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
“The Reagan White House far exceeded its predecessors in the volume of filmed self-documentation that it produced. Archival news footage from the era augments this fly-on-the-wall perspective on the dramatic history and pageantry of the Reagan years,” CNN said.
“The Reagan Show” airs with limited commercial interruption and will have two additional airings later in the week.
“Substantively and stylistically, Ronald Reagan was perhaps the most skilled communicator-in-chief of our modern era. Pacho and Sierra have made an impressive and extensively-researched film that demonstrates how essential media communication skills are to a president’s success and legacy” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.