‘The Kennedys’ Miniseries To Air On ReelzChannel [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 3rd, 2011 at 10:24 am,

kennedys poster The Kennedys Miniseries To Air On ReelzChannel [Updated]

[Update: Check out the first trailer for The Kennedys.]

When The History Channel refused to air the long-awaited biography The Kennedys, many speculated that another cable channel would take the series instead. After being passed over by Starz, Showtime and HBO, ReelzChannel has agreed to air the miniseries starting in April.

The Kennedys is by no means a small production. The series has a rumored budget of $25 million, notable stars like Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes and Tom Wilkinson, and is directed by Jon Cassar of 24. It was a major surprise when The History Channel declined to air it last month.

The channel cited a lack of historical accuracy as a factor in their decision – a claim that’s been verified by numerous historians. Even the author of one of the books cited in The Kennedys called the production “an egregious distortion of the historical record.”

The reportedly negative portrayal of John F. Kennedy and his family may also have played a part in keeping the series off of the major networks. Family members like Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver have expressed their displeasure at the series, along with other players in American politics and film-making. It’s unlikely that any negative view of a progressive hero like JFK would have sat well with the left-leaning Hollywood crowd, especially in the bitterly divisive political climate the United States is experiencing.

After The Kennedys was passed over by Showtime in January, Cassar complained of political influences in the decision. At a meeting of the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles, the director said that powerful people with connections to the Kennedys had kept the series off of the air.

ReelzChannel is an independent cable channel, as CEO Stan Hubbard is quick to point out. Speaking on The Kennedys, he highlighted the channel’s independence in its choice to air the miniseries:

“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.”

Though the miniseries has been snubbed by the major networks in its home country, The Kennedys will be well-distributed abroad. History Television in Canada is scheduled to show the series in March, and channels in the UK, Italy, Spain, Japan, Norway and Australia have also scheduled broadcasts.

Update: Check out the trailer for The Kennedys below:

The Kennedys

ReelzChannel will air the first two episodes of The Kennedys on April 3rd.

Source: TV Guide

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  1. So historically inaccurate… when did Hollywood suddenly have a problem with that? So much of their “based on a true story” films have huge inaccuracies. I guess the Kennedys still have a lot of influence. Just goes to show that the media here is censored to a certain extent.

  2. “The reportedly negative portrayal of John F. Kennedy and his family”

    I might have to watch this. Finally someone getting these people right. The love and respect the Kennedy’s receive is ridiculous and undeserved. They are liars , thieves and morally bankrupt human beings. One of them is even a murderer who got away with killing an innocent person while driving drunk.

    • The comment just above mine is scurrilous. The Kennedy administration was an inspiration for many millions of Americans, and for many people around the world. And, President Kennedy was one of a handful of presidents with any kind of integrity. The recent Bush administration was one of the most corrupt in American history and the Obama admistration has the very same agenda of selling out the people to Wall Street and to the “Military Industrial Complex” that Eisenhower mentioned in his farewell address. We seem to have lost the American republic, and under people like Bush and Obama, the odds of restoring it, seem remote, indeed.

      • The Kennedy administration did absolutely nothing. He came in gave a few speeches and died. What was inspirational the fact that he didn’t have time to screw everything up?

        Integrity Seriously? He had just as little integrity as anyone else in public office. Seriously how did he have integrity? He was a liar and a cheat. Guy couldn’t even keep his hang down in his pants but he is just so full of integrity? Kennedy came in the same way Obama did with a bunch of speeches about hope and change the only difference is that Obama lived so he managed to screw every thing up and reveal how he was a liar , but JFK was killed before he had a chance to be just another poor leader and another poor democrat.

        By the way are you gonna defend Good old Ted Kennedy next?

        I drink and I drive I’m the only one in my car who gets out alive… Ted Kennedy

        • Daniel,

          That’s harsh judgment of someone who didn’t finish his presidency before you were even born. How do you know he’d screw up? Keep in mind that the Democrat party of 50 years ago was NOT the party of today. At the time he was a truly inspirational figure and he’s the man who set in motion our trip to the moon.


          • Vic 90% of our presidents are inspirational at first when they are simply making speeches they only lose being inspirational once they actually start doing things and Kennedy never got a chance to. What I said wasn’t harsh at all it was merely the truth. He never did anything other than give a few speeches. Kennedy didn’t send us to the moon he merely wanted us to get there. The most inspirational thing he did toward getting us to the moon was die. Because of his death we pushed harder to reach it. That’s like saying Al Gore really did invent the internet which is just a funny joke.

            The Democratic party has changed but not as much as some would like to think. It’s nice to pretend that they were once good, but ultimately they were the wrong party 50 years ago and still are today. Some of their ideas have changed and sure they were less radical. but ultimately they were a poor choice 50 years ago and really wrong more often than not just like they are now.

            Regardless of how inspirational some people thought he may have been it doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t actually DO anything.

            Still my only harsh judgments were toward Ted who deserves every bit of it since he’s nothing more than a drunk driving murderer.

          • In my view, he was one of the truly great presidents, though he did get cut down before he could effect many of the changes he had envisioned.

            A very inspirational, youthful approach and agenda. He ordered the U.S. Treasury to resume the printing of U.S. Notes, thus risking the ire of the “Fed.” He made a major speech in which he warned against secret societies, and the curtailing of free-speech in America. After the Bay of Pigs debacle (pretty good evidence he was “set-up” by the CIA), he began to realize the lunacy of Cold
            War policies, and began to initiate tentative “back-door” communication links with Castro and Kruschev.
            He signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, 07 October 1963. And, he had definite plans to withdraw American troops from Vietnam during his second term.

            The very people in the Intelligence Community whom he cashiered (in association with some others) saw to it that his life was summarily put to an end in Novemeber of 1963.

  3. Good grief… what hypocracy! Accuracy hasn’t ever been The History’s Channel’s strong suit.

  4. I intend to view this series, but if it has a deadly critical, mud-slinging cast, like unto the tabloid-trash book, “The Dark Side of Camelot,” by Seymour Hersh, I’ll be jumping on them like flies on “you know what!” Hersh’s book is fit material for a landfill, and not much else.

  5. Compared to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld…and Obama, he was a giant. I wouldn’t trust any of these bums as far as I could throw them. We’re still stuck in illegal, military actions in three sovereign countries, have bailed out the banks (which I consider treasonous), and Obama just announced a budget which includes major domestic cuts. Throw the bums out!!!

  6. How could they write and produce a miniseries named “The Kennedy’s and never mention Ted Kennedy in it?

  7. What are the specific inaccuracies in the script? I have been watching the episodes, and became interested as to why the History channel spent millions to produce something that another network will end up benefitting enormously from (who ever watches Reelz?). Obviously none of the personal interactions went down exactly as portrayed, anyone who expects that to be the case is an idiot. But much of what I have seen paints the Kennedy’s in a very positive light; standing up for civil rights with James Meredith, averting disaster with Russia over Cuba, and trying to bring down organized crime, to name a few. Is it any secret that politicians lie, cheat on their wives and make back room deals? I am however interested in specific inaccuracies. I have read many posts and articles about how historically inaccurate this production is, but no one ever cites examples, without which I am inclined to believe that most of what is portrayed is true. Can someone point to something rather than an omission or private conversation that either happened quite differently or didn’t happen at all?