History Channel Cancels Controversial ‘Kennedys’ Miniseries

by | January 7, 2011 at 8:09 PM | TV News

'The Kennedys' (Photo: History Channel)

'The Kennedys' (Photo: History Channel)


Looks like the curse of Camelot continues.

A&E Television Networks has scrapped plans to air “The Kennedys,” claiming the multi-million dollar miniseries about the legendary American family is not a good fit, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Upon completion of the production of The Kennedys, History has decided not to air the 8-part miniseries on the network,” a rep for the network told THR in a statement. “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.”

The expensive, high-profile production was scheduled to air this spring on the History Channel. The project has been mired in controversy from the start, most notably in a scathing New York Times article from 2009, in which former Kennedy adviser Theodore Sorenson called the script “vindictive” and “malicious.”

Produced by Joel Surnow (the creator of “24″), the eight-part miniseries stars Greg Kinnear as JFK, Katie Holmes as Jackie O, Barry Pepper as Bobby Kennedy, and Tom Wilkinson as patriarch Joe Kennedy. The cast and producers were informed Friday of the network’s decision to cancel its plans to air “The Kennedys.”

There are rumors that producers are seeking opportunities to bring the project to a pay cable channel, with Showtime cited as the leading contender. The series is still scheduled to air in Canada on March 6 and will be broadcast internationally as well.

“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,” the rep added.