Just weeks before the scheduled airing of the latest chronicling of the American political dynasty, the History Channel has pulled the plug on “The Kennedys.” In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, a representative for the cablecaster said, “Upon completion of the production of ‘The Kennedys,’ History has decided not to air the 8-part miniseries. After viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded that although the film is produced and acted with the highest quality auspices, the dramatic license the series takes is not suitable for the History brand.”
In a joint statement, producers Muse Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment said, “We are proud of the work all of our talent put into the making of ‘The Kennedys’ and the painstaking efforts that went into creating a drama that is compelling while rich in historic detail. Although we regret this does not fit into the History Channel’s plans, we are confident that television viewers in the United States will join viewers from around the world in having an opportunity to watch this series in the near future.”
The Emmy-winning duo from “24” — writers/producers Joel Surnow and Jon Cassar— were among those shepherding “The Kennedys” to the small screen. Oscar contenders Greg Kinnear and Tom Wilkinson headed up the cast as John F. Kennedy, the fallen 35th president, and his father Joseph respectively. Katie Holmes was the glamorous first lady Jacqueline Kennedy while Barry Pepper played the stalwart brother Robert F. Kennedy.
In the recent past, the Emmy series race for Best Mini-Series has been between the big-budget HBO blockbusters (“The Pacific,” “John Adams”) versus the costume drama PBS/BBC co-productions (“Little Dorritt,” “Cranford”). However, the History Channel nabbed a surprise nod in the TV Movie category earlier this year for “Moonshot.”
Photo: Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes and Barry Pepper in “The Kennedys” (Muse Entertainment)