How the $30-million ‘Kennedys’ miniseries wound up on ReelzChannel


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The night before he started filming ‘The Kennedys’ last summer in Toronto, Greg Kinnear got his first inkling that the project might be headed for trouble.

Kinnear, tapped to play John F. Kennedy in the sprawling miniseries about America’s premier political dynasty, was told that some of the family’s high-profile defenders were pressuring the network over a show they were convinced would be a hatchet job.

‘I didn’t ask a lot of questions about it,’ Kinnear said in this Friday Calendar story, referring to his dinner that night with Nancy Dubuc, president of the cable network History, ‘because I had bigger problems on my hands, which was how the hell was I gonna play Jack Kennedy.’

But the controversy soon became a big problem indeed for ‘The Kennedys.’ In January, History decided to yank the $30-million miniseries off its schedule, saying it was ‘not a fit’ for the network’s brand, and slogged through an embarrassing and heavily publicized quest over the next few weeks to find a new home for the project. Media accounts suggested that the family itself had tried to quash the project, although no family member has publicly admitted to having done so.

On Sunday, ‘The Kennedys’ will finally premiere in the U.S. on ReelzChannel, a little-known, family-owned independent cable network that’s hoping the miniseries can instantly vault it into the big leagues of outlets offering splashy original programming.



History pulls plug on Kennedy miniseries

-- Scott Collins (