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'The Kennedys' miniseries premiere sets ratings records for ReelzChannel

Katieholmes "The Kennedys" may not have earned many adoring reviews, but the miniseries did set a record for the previously little-known ReelzChannel.

Sunday's premiere of the sprawling eight-hour epic about the American political dynasty, starring Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes and Tom Wilkinson, delivered 1.9 million total viewers in its original airing plus an encore immediately afterward, according to the Nielsen Co. The first airing earned a 1.7 household rating, well past the goal the network set of a 1.0 rating.

Needless to say, "The Kennedys" -- which was dumped from the History channel schedule after historians and Kennedy family defenders complained about its accuracy -- is the most-watched program in the history of ReelzChannel, a 5-year-old outlet best known for airing movies, trailers and movie-review shows. The show drew mostly mixed or negative notices from critics.

"Viewers across America showed their ongoing fascination with the Kennedy family and, specifically, their desire to see such a star-studded cast in the highly anticipated 'The Kennedys,' " ReelzChannel Chief Executive Stan E. Hubbard said in a statement. "In acquiring 'The Kennedys' our aim was to give viewers an opportunity to watch an incredible movie event with massive star power and to also put a spotlight on our network like never before."


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

-- Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Katie Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy in "The Kennedys." Credit: ReelzChannel / Associated Press


Comments () | Archives (35)

I watched the premiere last night on Reelz and I was so intrigue by the show. My husband who is a big Kennedy fan said it was one of the best premiers he hs ever seen over the years. We are looking forward to watching the rest of the miniseries. I have to say that Katie Holmes is fantastic playing Jacqueline. I have not watched a better movie in my life this one is one of the best.

I think that the accuracy of The Kennedys was spot on, from cheating husbands to Jackie O smoking while pregnant....priceless!

The cast was FANTASTIC!

We liked it!

I enjoyed the Mini Series and set my DVR to tape the whole series. It was also nice finding out that Richard Roeper does reviews for Reelz the station that I never heard of but thanks to History Channel I discovered.

DMW, you have not seen 'The Kennedys' yesterday because you don't catch Reelz channel. And you have no husband, you are not married, you are just an old spinster.
You are the Katie Holmes maniacal admirer,the one that spends her whole life posting on the net from your parents basement, defending Katie from her haters'... ;)

I enjoyed it. I don't know how accurate it is, but it was made to entertain, and entertain me it did. Good play, Reelz Channel.

I watched the premiere. While I didn't learn anything new, I thought it was within reason. Most people are aware of JFK's womanizing. Most also are aware that Joe Kennedy did everything he could do to get JFK in the White House, even paying for it. I think Katie Holmes is doing a fine acting job. I will watch the rest of the miniseries.

I went into The Kennedy's with an open mind. I really enjoyed it. The production vaules were great. Greg, Katie did a great job. Barry Pepper as Bobby and Tom Wilkerson as Joe were especially good. I thought it moved along at the right pace. Looking foward to the rest!!!

History Channel's loss. A good miniseries that is balanced and evokes sympathy for the family. Thank you Reelz Channel for not pulling a Joe McCarthy.

Not a huge fan of the Kennedy's but the mini-series looked like it would be good. I like Katie Holmes but she is the worst Jacqueline I've ever seen; she's trying too hard with the Boston accent. The rest of the group is doing well and I'll continue to watch the series.

Nicely done so far and a pretty sympathetic view of Jack and especially Bobby. Maybe it will happen later but I don't see any political biases at play. Maybe not quite as flattering view for JFK's father or older brother but this is compelling television.

I sure it was hard to get advertisers, with the pressure from Mass. but enough with the same bag-o-fiber, BMW, whatever the husband and wife ad shows, and episode previews over and over again. The tie-in with BMW and Joe Kennedy is great, remember what the BMW symbol represents, a German fighter aircraft propeller spinning (Messerschmitt).

This is a horrible, one-sided portrayal of a larger-than-life Amercian dynasty. I dont know why the screenwriter has an axe to grind but after the first 90 minutes or so I could see why none of the major cable channels wanted to touch this mini-series with a ten foot pole. Being controversial is a prime ingrediant in cable progamming (ask HBO) but this is just a hatchet job. These people were not one-dimensioanl cut-outs . They were complex historical figures in a time of great change in Amercian politics and culture. I am very dissapointed in this effort. Obvioulsly the writers knew very little of these people. I'm sure Kinnear, Wilkinson and Pepper are a bit embarrassed by the finished product. Have you seen any of them help advertise the show itself?

As an historian, I find myself lamenting this representation of this Amercian family. They certainly were not saints, far from it. But the strength of their collective personae is sorely missing in this very weak "biographical" effort.

The saddest part of all is that weak-minded viewers will believe this story as it appears on the little screen.

I have been watching this miniseries and I'm finding it very interesting and eye opening. I think the actors are doing a great job. Katie is doing a good job as well. I always thought she looked like Jackie Kennedy even years ago. So beautiful! Thanks Reelz for putting this one on for us to see.

Im not a big Kennedy fan but this movie actually makes them likeable showing them in a light that is human and not just priveledged. They are just like the rest of us and no more special. Nice to see. I actually like the family a little more now and admire Joe for not airing his dirty laundry but keeping the family secrets within the compound and having them all support each other no matter what. Something other families should do now a days. Families are so torn apart these days its a nice thing to see. Thanks Reelz channel. This is the talk of our workplace!!!

I have been watching The Kennedys miniseries and so far it has been excellent. All the actors have been extremely excellent and realistic. It makes you feel like you were actually there when all of this was taken place. Since I was not born until about 20 years after Kennedy was president, it gives me some insight on how he conducted himself as president. I have thought that he was a great president but sure he had his personal flaws like anyone else however; he still did some great things for this country.

I was 12 years old when JFK was assassinated. I didn't remember a lot of "Camelot". However, I do remember seeing his and Bobby's speeches and Jacque in all her eloquence and charm. "The Kennedys" miniseries couldn't have been BETTER cast. Outstanding. Can't wait to view the last few episodes tonite, tomorrow, and Sunday.

Have watched 5 episodes and like the series. Question: Where is Teddy? He does not seem to appear at all, even when JFK was elected president or when Joe, Sr. suffers a stroke. Did I blink and miss him? Nothing against the actor playing Robert Kennedy but Senator Kennedy was much more handsome in real life! Katie Holmes is OK, not as good as Blair Brown was years ago. I think she's playing Jackie safe but none of Jackie's wit, intelligence or charm is being shown. Also, was Jackie so dependent on "Dr. Feelgood" that she couldn't function without him? I don't think that is true. Old Joe Kennedy is shown as a scoundrel and womanizer- who disputes this? Greg Kinnear as JFK is quite good. I don't get Reelz but got the series via the "On Demand" feature on Comcast. Try it...........

I think the Kennedy's is wonderfully done and I enjoyed every minute of it! Good JOB!!!

Wish I could watch it on demand. Reelz sure loads it with commercials. The series is great but sure have to ff through a lot of crap to keep the story flowing and when they insert previews it's hard to know where to stop. This is why we don't watch Reelz on a regular basis.

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