Showtime passes on 'The Kennedys'

Kennedys-Holmes-KinnearImage Credit: Splash NewsWell, that’s that: Showtime has apparently decided not to buy The Kennedys, the eight-part miniseries-cum-hot potato that was dropped by The History Channel last week. Now it’s anyone’s guess where the movie from the Canadian-based Muse Entertainment ends up, though an exec told the New York Times that “there has been interest expressed by several networks.” Gee, wonder who? HBO is out: The network already has a Kennedy project in development from Playtone and Bill Paxton; it’s an adaptation of Vincent Bugliosi’s tome Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Starz hasn’t been approached, and it would be wrong to assume that History would try to hand off the project to one of its sister nets. Though History has shared programming before with other nets under the A&E Networks banner (Lifetime, for example, runs repeats of the hit Pawn Stars), it can’t do that with The Kennedys because it doesn’t own it. Stay tuned, I guess.

Meanwhile, the miniseries’ Canadian director told the Canadian Press newswire service that “the actual product takes no political stance one way or the other” and that allies of the Kennedy family were likely behind the decision by the A&E Television Networks’ channel to cancel the project that starred Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes. It was created by 24 co-creator Joel Surnow. “I doubt they’ve even seen it,” Jon Cassar told the publication. “They were objecting to it before it started. They were objecting to the idea of it.”

Comments (54 total) Add your comment
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  • Kristina

    Let’s go Starz!

    Honestly, the film’s trailer looked great. Would totally check it out.

    • Liz Lemon

      I wanna see it too.

    • jen

      From what i’ve read, it’s basically fiction with a real family’s name slapped on it.

  • jfms777

    Advance word is that the series is way too-campy. Since the History Channel had the script, you would think they would have outright rejected it before production, or ask for major rewrites.

  • jodipo

    I m sure someone will run it eventually, even if it has Katie Holmes in it

    • Andagain

      HaHaH! Good one! Agree!

    • Tom Cruise

      She was by far the worst part about the trailer for the series. (Is there any project she’s been a part of that she wasn’t the worst thing about it?) It appears she didn’t even try to sound like Jackie at all. She sounds like she is just speaking in her normal voice.

      • VJ

        Of course she speaks in her normal voice; Look who she is married to. Tom always does this too. Whenever I watch a Tom Cruise movie, I never see the character, only Tom playing the role.

    • Ankit

      What a stunner!This gougeors piece of art/jewel will no doubt give much pleasure to the happy couple but will provoke lots of comments from others on its beauty.Felicity x

  • jimbo

    Apparently, historians who’s books this was supposedly based on saw the script and called it a hatchet job.
    Can’t imagine that, especially as Rush Limbaugh’s good buddy and Fox News contributer Joel Surnow created it. It just HAD to be “Fair and balanced.”

    • Hey Now

      If Oliver Stone can make a movie about Bush why can’t a Fox News contributor make a movie about the Kennedy’s? Just asking. Peace and Love.

      • jodipo

        you should thank Oliver Stone for making that movie. I never liked Bush as much as I did while watching it.

      • annie

        i agree. Oliver Stones movie was a very sympathetic protrait of Bush. I saw it in the liberal San Francisco Bay area. Before the show people were laughing in hopes of a real “gotcha” type show. It was mostly silence during the show as it created a very human and actually positive portrait of Bush. It’s myth that his film trashed Bush.

    • Tarc

      Yes, it was reported long ago that the script was highly biased, and there was concern from History channel at that point. I’m guessing that it’s a conservative hatchet job, and that’s why multiple networks are passing.

      • jimbo

        I heard the major complaints came from the four historians who’s books this is supposed to be based on. They got hold of the script and were not impressed to say the least.

  • chad

    It must be trash.

    • DGH

      or the Kennedy’s put enough pressure on the History Channel to cancel it. I have seen some horrible shows on History that they had no problem airing so why not air this?

      • ks

        Totally agree!

      • Lois

        ‘Cuz this miniseries is all about sex. It’s filled with sex scenes, and not much history.

  • Harry

    Wow, if Showtime won’t do it, it must be dreadful. Maybe Oxygen or LIfetime will take it on.

    • Traci

      Lifetime is owned by the same company as History so they are most likely out too.

    • patrick

      i’m sorry but are you implying showtime has poor programming harry? They have a number of good series on their network.

  • DGH

    Don’t dare talk bad about the Kennedy’s they have more power dead than anyone alive in America does its pathetic really.

    • DGH

      Also the Kennedy’s can do no wrong so anything that contradicts that must be banned.

      • anamarie

        omg, cry a little more!! PLEASE!! The Kennedy family has been hacked apart by you losers since they first came to prominence. You seem to be confused as to who cannot handle criticism. Its Bush, and Palin, and Beck that dont like to be talked about in any way but a holy one you loser.

      • Mike

        The Kennedy’s gained that power for a reason: because of what they said, and did. It would be sad for their images and character to be called into question, decades after it had all already been sorted out, for the sake of the politics of the today. Historians already know the truth, as do most people. It’s rather unnecessary to stir the pot amongst the increasing ignoramuses in this country for short term political gain, so that we just have to reeducate them after the election. All it is, is more demonizing of the left in order to win elections: the Republicans stated mission was to gain the majority using any means. The right is looking forward to 2012, having succeeded in lieing and manipulating their way into the House. It’s really that simple, and unfortunate.

      • Mark

        Let’s guess which way anamarie leans? Biased much? Typical Lib. Yeah the Kennedy’s are so without reproach. Are you kidding? None of us are crying about how people bash on Bush, Palin, etc. We have lives to live…no time to whine about people calling other people names…

      • Lois

        I would hope that if the History Channel makes a biographical film about anyone that it be accurate. It doesn’t matter if it’s about Kennedy, Bush, Palin, Obama, McCain, just as long as it’s true. According to those who have seen the script, this miniseries couldn’t get even basic historical facts right. For instance, they had Kennedy as the person who came up with the idea to build the Berlin Wall.

        If people bash Palin, Bush, Kennedy etc. for things they actually did, then it’s part of being in politics. If they invent things about these people, then it’s wrong.

      • lee

        I’m sorry Mark but you seem to idealize the Kennedys. You do realize that the Patriarch of the family was a gangster who funded his sons campaigns. Also less we forget the Kennedys’ men tendency to cheat on their wives. really I’m tired of the idealization of the Kennedys

      • Brett

        We can forgive little things of the Kennedys. Like bootlegging, election rigging, adultery, and murder. You know, ’cause they’re the Kennedys.

  • anm

    The remaining Kennedy’s and publicists must be worried about how the family is portrayed in the films. How funny. NBC, grow a pair, will ya?

  • alan lakernick

    I saw the promo of it. Its a no brainer hit piece on the Kennedys with zero basis in fact. How brain dead are Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear for not realizing what they were doing.

    • vanyvrgs

      I do not know about Greg Kinnear, but Katie Holmes has been brain dead since she met Tom Cruise.

    • Summer

      She married Tom Cruise.

      It’s safe to say that she’s been, you know, brain dead for awhile.

    • s

      You got that from the promo? Really? An eight hour miniseries and you can tell from the promo that it’s got zero basis in fact? Wow, I’m impressed.

  • Jacob

    Why??? I understand that it might be politically charged, but with all this news concerning the series and cancelation, you think “any publicity would be good publicity” for a channel like Showtime. I had no clue about the miniseries before it was canceled, but I definitely want to see it now!

  • Brain Thriller

    Sex? Perrrfect for Bravo!

    • AM

      And true to life about JFK. Huge womanizer.

      • Lois

        You think that’s unusual in politics?

  • Sue1

    Why??? There’s a chance, a Very Good Chance, it’s awful, that’s why.

  • liberty

    While Surnow clearly has a relationship with Nevins, this was never going to be on Showtime because A) they got burned from both sides of the political aisle on The Reagans, B) they had an incentive to pick up The Reagans since it had been produced for and partially funded by then-sister network, CBS, and C) Showtime burned their audience by airing something that clearly was shot under the much tamer broadcast network standards than the usual premium cable fare Showtime’s audience is used to, which also applies to The Kennedys. It’s just not a premium cable show.

    So, just wondering: wouldn’t the “best shot” for this be AMC which has the room on its schedule and is still in the miniseries business? Not to mention their biggest show, Mad Men, has created a clear interest in the period for their audience? And, I believe, no parent company connection to the family?

    • diane

      Excellent idea

  • DavidSask

    It is still to air in Canada hopefully, when and where is the question?

  • Ken

    OKAY: American is a free democracy who has a right to entertainment, but the show won’t happened becuase of a wealthy family.

    Canada, on the other hand, is a socialistic democracy and the Canadian people get to see something that will be banned in America.
    Oh Cananda!!!

    • Harry

      Then why did CBS not show a movie about the Reagans when they got complaints? It is all the same, no matter the party. The family did not want to see his image anything but perfect, which it also was not.

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