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

Kennedyskinnear 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 (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Greg Kinnear in "The Kennedys." Credit: ReelzChannel / Associated Press.


Comments () | Archives (6)

I couldn't wait to see The Kennedys. It was everything I thought it would be. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I had never watched this channel but that won't happen again. Thanks

I was able to watch the first episode and have read many of the Kennedy books, found the events very matter of fact to what I have read in the past. The actors were pulchritdinous and did a fabulous job repesenting the past tense of the Kennedy Family.

I am really ticked off to find out that I cannot get the Reelz channel in my area. I have heard so much about this mini-series and was looking forward to viewing it. I hope it will be availabe some day on video.

Probably would not have watched if not for the controversy. I enjoyed the first 3 episodes. The docu-drama is balanced with a good cast. I did not even know that I had the Reelz Channel.

I love this miniseries. I wish it was on 2 hours per night. If ppl don't believe it's accuracy. Study it out, I have. Wikipedia is a good place to start. I can't wait to watch the conclusion tomorrow night!!! Thanks a million Reelz Channel!!

I was never a fan of the Kennedy family. However I watched all eight episodes of the miniseries and totally loved it. This is one of the great television events of all time.


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