The eight-part miniseries “The Kennedys” has found a new home on the cablecaster Reelz Channel with the first two episodes to air April 3 and then continue throughout the week. Matthew Belloni, who has been tracking this story for the Hollywood Reporter, broke the news that the Minnestota-based outlet has picked up this controversial program.
In an interview, Reelz CEO Stan Hubbard told him, “We think it will drive ratings and put a spotlight on this network that has never been on it before. We’re going to do a full-blown marketing campaign.” For Hubbard, “One of the benefits of being an independent network is that you can be an independent voice and you don’t have to worry about corporate pressure or political pressure. This is a project that deserves to be seen.”
Last month, the History Channel pulled the plug on this latest chronicling of the American political dynasty. At that time, a representative for the cablecaster said, “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 response, 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.”
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.”