TV Execs Now Say Trump is Exceptional

TV Execs Now Say Trump is Exceptional

At least when it comes to TV documentaries, the media now says Donald Trump is pure gold. Over the last year and a half, British TV news powerhouse ITN has had fantastic success with documentaries on the President of the United States. People can’t seem to get enough of the populism and anti-political correctness of Trump. He’s become an even bigger phenomenon than before he was elected. Especially for the Brits, who feel a kinship with Trump over Brexit.

This same network has also put together three political discussion programs that revolved around the election debates last year. Trump drew large viewership for those battles. This is why ITN decided to do a ton of documentaries on Trump and his flamboyant politics. The ratings have been off the charts on the documentaries. On a combined basis, they have attracted a consolidated audience of over 9 million viewers, according to Channel 4.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

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“There are very few people who are this sort of box office or gold dust for TV documentary producers,” says editorial director Chris Shaw.

ITN Productions, the commercial production arm of British TV news powerhouse ITN, has had much success with fast turnaround Donald Trump TV documentaries for the U.K. and some international markets over the past year and a half.

ITN, owned by ITV (40 percent), Daily Mail and General Trust (20 percent), Thomson Reuters (20 percent) and UBM (20 percent), is known for its current affairs, factual, sports and other programs. After earlier this year earning its first-ever Oscar nomination for documentary short Watani: My Homeland, which documents the refugee journey of a Syrian family to Germany, it earlier this week won a Realscreen Award in the non-fiction crime & investigation category for Interview With a Murderer.

But Trump has increasingly come into focus for the company over the past 18 months.

Last year, ITN Productions delivered four prime time documentaries, all commissioned by Britain’s Channel 4 and fronted by Channel 4 News Europe editor and presenter Matt Frei, and then also sold them to international markets, covering Trump’s presidential election campaign and win. Two more have so far followed this year, and a seventh one is in the works.

“We don’t often follow international elections and make programs about them, even American ones, but Trump is such an exceptional personality, as well as a politician,” ITN Productions editorial director Chris Shaw says Trump docs have become a business for the company. “Channel 4 was initially fascinated by the Trump phenomenon. And when they discovered it was not just fascinating, but something that was very high-rating, they wanted more.” The first ITN doc on Trump for Channel 4, The Mad World of Donald Trump, drew 1.6 million viewers in the U.K. overnight ratings in January 2016, followed by an overnight audience of 1.8 million for the second one, President Trump: Can He Really Win? Brits have been addicted ever since to The Donald.

ITN has been very fast in turnarounds for the shows and that gets even more viewership. The first Trump doc from ITN Productions was the hour-long The Mad World of Donald Trump, which sold to such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. ITN Productions followed that up with two hour-long programs with the title President Trump: Can He Really Win? in March and August last year and the 30-minute long November doc, The World According to President Trump. This April saw the on-air debut of the 30-minute, President Trump: How Scared Should we Be?, followed by the May release of the hour-long, Ivanka Trump: America’s Real First Lady?

“The man is a gift to television documentary makers. He is the kind of gift that keeps giving,” Shaw tells THR. “I would like to do loads more.” Love him or hate him, Trump has become must see TV and the White House has become the biggest reality show of all time.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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