By Tom Comi
Perhaps the Kennedy family doesn’t have as much pull as everybody thought.
Just last month it was announced by the History Channel that it was pulling the plug on an 8-part series called The Kennedys due to claims of inaccuracy from the family. This week it was made public that the now-controversial series has been picked up by Reelz Channel, a network previously known for airing reruns of Cheers, Becker, NewsRadio and Ally McBeal.
Starring Greg Kinnear as JFK and Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy, the series garnered great buzz when it was determined to be a bad fit for History Channel. A company spokesperson said, “We recognize historical fiction is an important medium for storytelling and commend all the hard work and passion that has gone into the making of the series, but ultimately deem this as the right programming decision for our network.”
And while every programmer has that right, it does beg the question as to what exactly the History Channel thought it was getting when it initially green-lit the project. Critics of the decision argued that the network was either out of the loop on the focus of the series or that it was steamrolled by the Kennedy family to pull it from the schedule.
Either way, it was only a matter of time before another programmer jumped at the broadcasting rights, and it was ReelzChannel that apparently grabbed what has to be one of the most highly-anticipated mini-series ever after all of the controversial attention it has drawn.
“One of the benefits of being an independent network is that you can be an independent voice and you don’t have to worry about corporate pressure or political pressure,” company CEO Stan Hubbard told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a project that deserves to be seen.”
ReelzChannel is already plastering the April 3 world premiere of the series all over its website, and the buzz is only going to get bigger as that date gets closer. And to paraphrase another president, the only thing Hubbard needs to fear is, well, nothing.
Credit: History Television