Reelz finds the Kennedy family so compelling, they’re coming back for more.
The network revealed Tuesday that it’s tapped former “Friends” star Matthew Perry to play Ted Kennedy, the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, who went on to a long career of his own as a senator and frequent tabloid fodder.
“The Kennedys -- After Camelot” will star Perry, currently costarring in CBS’ reboot of “The Odd Couple,” in what’s being billed as a follow-up to “The Kennedys,” the 2011 miniseries that starred Greg Kinnear as JFK and Katie Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy. Holmes will return to reprise her role in “After Camelot” and also serve as a director and executive producer. The four-hour miniseries will premiere in spring 2017.
It remains to be seen whether Reelz will ignite as much controversy this time around. The original “Kennedys” was picked up by Reelz in 2011 after History had dropped the project. Even before it premiered, the show was blasted by many Kennedy family supporters, including former JFK speechwriter Ted Sorensen, who shortly before he died had dubbed it “character assassination.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr., JFK’s nephew, called the film “historically inaccurate.” The miniseries depicted Kennedy family members currying favor with the Mafia and JFK taking powerful drugs for secret health problems, among other things.
Critical reaction was mixed, although the miniseries was a huge hit by Reelz’s standards, with 1.9 million total viewers tuning in for the premiere night, driven at least partly by publicity about the controversy.
The miniseries will be based on “After Camelot,” a book by veteran biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli.
What do you think of the latest Kennedy miniseries?