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The Kennedys mini-series suffers US TV blow

The Kennedys

Story by Jack Foley

A STAR-studded mini-series on American political family The Kennedys has suffered a major blow to its hopes of being shown on US TV.

In what is being described as a surprise move, A&E Television Networks has cancelled plans to show the drama this spring on The History Channel due to ‘historical inaccuracies’.

The production, which was to have been told in eight parts, features Greg Kinnear as John F. Kennedy, Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy, Barry Pepper as Robert F. Kennedy and Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy.

The production has been beset with problems from the outset, according to a report on The Hollywood Reporter, beginning even before shooting had commenced with a front page report in The New York Times last February in which former JFK adviser Theodore Sorenson lashed out at an early version of the script as being “vindictive” and “malicious.”

A statement subsequently issued to The Hollywood Reporter by the network explained the latest decision as follows: “Upon completion of the production of The Kennedys, [The] History [Channel] has decided not to air the eight-part mini-series on the network.

“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.”

This is despite the fact that original criticisms of the script have been corrected, with the screenplay also having been vetted by historical experts.

Still, however, the show’s content was not considered historically accurate enough for the network’s rigorous standards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It is not known what news of the cancellation means for the multi-million dollar series as a whole, with Canadian and European markets expected to be given the opportunity to see it.

But producers Asylum and Muse are now believed to be pursuing other alternatives, including pay cable channels for its US future.

They have also issued a statement saying: “Although we regret this does not fit into the History Channel’s plans, we are confident that television viewers in the United States will join viewers from around the world in having an opportunity to watch this series in the near future.”