The made-for-television movie will air after all in the United States April 3 on the ReelzChannel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Even so, the viewing audience will be restricted.
ReelzChannel is a four-year old independent cable channel owned by Hubbard Communications. It’s only available in 60 million homes nationwide, although most major cable operators carry it in select markets.
After weeks of hype, much of it generated by the mere presence of Holmes and Greg Kinnear, who plays JFK, a History Channel rep signaled its demise by damning the show 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 cable channel said in a statement released to the Reporter early last month.
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 — in the media.
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.”
JFK daughter Caroline Kennedy and cousin Maria Schriver also reportedly lobbied heavily against the series.
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.
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 it scared off a few advertisers.
Showtime eventually picked up “The Reagans.”
The development must be good news 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.
Check out a trailer for the series, released by Reelz.