I was told earlier today why Oliver Stone and Showtime decided to cancel screenings of the first three episodes of Stone’s Untold History of the United States at the 2011 New York Film Festival.

It wasn’t because of “scheduling conflicts,” as the announcement read. It’s because Stone, immersed in the cutting of Savages, an action drama about drug dealing, is way behind on preparing all ten episodes of the series. I’m told it may not air for quite a while, perhaps as late as September 2012 (or even later). So Stone and Showtime figured there was no promotional benefit in showing the first three episodes now if the series won’t air for another year or so.

The three episodes in question are complete and were shown to NY Film Festival bigwigs prior to booking the slot and making the initial announcement.