We've chronicled the saga of the miniseries "The Kennedys" -- the historic TV depiction of the popular family that was yanked by the History Channel before it even aired amid pressure from a former Kennedy aide and, some say, the Kennedy family itself. But now, one network is stepping up to air the controversial eight-episode series, and it's banking on the controversy increasing viewership.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has the scoop:
The controversial miniseries will world premiere on April 3 on the ReelzChannel, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Producers of the ambitious project from 24 executive producer Joel Surnow and writer Stephen Kronish have struck a deal with the independent, family-owned cable network to air the 8-part miniseries, which was abruptly yanked from the History channel on January 7 amid pressure from the Kennedys over its depiction of the political family. At the time, History owner A&E Television Networks told THR that “after viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.”But it is certainly a fit for ReelzChannel, a 4-year old independent cable channel owned by Minnesota-based Hubbard Communications that is available in 60 million homes nationwide on services including DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter Communications.
“We think it will drive ratings and put a spotlight on this network that has never been on it before,” ReelzChannel CEO Stan Hubbard told THR. “We’re going to do a full-blown marketing campaign.”
With this new deal in place, the miniseries will not air in Canada in March as previously planned. Instead, Reelz will air two episodes on April 3, and then the other episodes will air on consecutive nights after that, THR says.
“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,” Hubbard told THR. “This is a project that deserves to be seen.”
The series was partially produced by conservative Joel Surnow (of "24" fame), which left some questioning the intent of the series. In response to that criticism, executive producer Michael Prupas defended the show as "meticulously researched" and "the truth."