History Channel decides against broadcasting ‘The Kennedys’

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Friday that A&E Television Networks has decided to not broadcast “The Kennedys” on the History Channel.

“The Kennedys,” an eight-part miniseries focusing on the influential American political family, attracted top Hollywood talent, with Katie Holmes playing Jackie Kennedy and Joel Surnow, co-creator of the show 24, producing.

One of the most likely causes for the plug being pulled is objections from Kennedy family admirers. The Hollywood Reporter notes the high-profile objection voiced by the late President John F. Kennedy speechwriter Theodore Sorensen last year, who called the series ‘malicious’ toward the family. The final script was historically vetted before production.

The Hollywood Reporter quotes a representative of A&E Television Networks as saying: “While the film is produced and acted with the highest quality, after viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.”

The History brand lately has been re-oriented with the success of reality shows “Ice Road Truckers” and “Pawn Stars.”

The series will run in Canada and other foreign countries, but there are no immediate plans for U.S. broadcast. There were no recorded complaints from American advertisers.

Katie Holmes said of her role as Jackie, “I worked as hard as I could, because I loved her… On set there was this feeling that we had to create something very special, because these people were very special.”

Watch: The miniseries trailer