After weeks of hype, much of it generated by the mere presence of Holmes, a network rep damned the production with faint praise.
“After viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded that although the film is produced and acted with the highest quality auspices, the dramatic license the series takes is not suitable for the History brand,” the channel said in a statement released to the Hollywood Reporter.
Although the last of the Kennedy clan patriarchs, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy died in 2009, the family’s minions still apparently wield considerable influence where it counts.
The script for the series, produced by Asylum and Muse, was sharply criticized by former JFK adviser Theodore Sorenson, who called it “malicious” and “vindictive.”
The network assured critics that a revised script would be vetted by experts io meet any objections of Kennedy scholars or family associates. But apparently that wasn’t the case.
“Upon completion of the production of ‘The Kennedys,’ History has decided not to air the 8-part miniseries,” the statement said.
“After viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded that although the film is produced and acted with the highest quality auspices, the dramatic license the series takes is not suitable for the History brand.”
It’s not the first time a network has gotten cold feet. CBS dropped its controversial miniseries “The Reagans” in 2003 after critics claimed the content was inaccurate and scared off a few advertisers.
Showtime eventually picked up “The Reagans” and likely one of the cable movie channels will do the same with “The Kennedys.”
But the History Channel was left with egg on its face nonetheless. It had touted the production as one of it’s most ambitious forays into producing original programming.
As for Holmes, she apparently put her heart and soul into the project.
“I worked as hard as I could, because I loved her. On set there was this feeling that we had to create something very special, because these people were very special,” she recently told Elle magazine.
How bad could it be?