We’ve been hearing about The Kennedys for almost a year now, since casting decisions (Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes) were announced in April 2010. It is an eight-part miniseries that will finally air this coming April, but it has been a battle getting there.
The show was originally the first program ever written expressly for the History Channel, but when production completed, the History Channel decided not to air it. They declared it was well done, but not the “History brand.”
So the show decided to seek out a different network, but Showtime passed on the program as well. Reports surfaced that members of the Kennedy family were using connections to keep the series off television because it paints the family in a negative light. Indeed, the early drafts of the script suffered intensely negative criticisms. Ted Sorensen, a former speechwriter for JFK, called the show a “character assassination.”
Finally, the show found a home on ReelzChannel, a cable channel that usually airs reruns and programs about movies. (Yes, its slogan is “TV about movies.” What?) It has never had an original TV series of its own, and it is doubtful that those involved in the series ever thought it would fall so far from the History Channel.
Nevertheless, ReelzChannel has released a trailer for the show, proving it couldn’t stay hidden forever:
It’s actually not a very compelling or scandalous trailer. There must be some things in there that are attention grabbing, or no one would have ever labeled it historically inaccurate or “character assassination.” Hopefully some new clips will emerge before the April 3 premiere to give everyone a better idea at what the Kennedy family presumably wants to keep under wraps, otherwise we’ll all have to tune into “ReelzChannel” to figure this mess out.