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October 13, 2015

The Kennedys coming to History Channel as miniseries

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 14th 2009 10:09AM
Kennedys_color_JFK_RFKThere's little question that the saga of the Kennedy family makes great TV. Whether it's a documentary or a docudrama or a TV movie, the story of one of America's most family political families is always compelling. Now The Kennedys will be a miniseries on History Channel. 24's Joel Surnow is behind the ambitious production which is earmarked for spring 2011. Two--time Emmy winning director Jon Cassar, who won for 24, will direct.

This will be the first time History Channel has delved in scripted drama, but by choosing a topic like the Kennedys, they're appealing to their viewership. In the story, the History exec noted, "The Kennedy family, from every angle, has always fascinated our viewers.

They're also not scrimping on the budget -- $20-$25 million should guarantee a quality production. There will be eight hours of the mini and it will cover the time period from JFK's election to RFK's assassination. Having lived through those years -- as a kid -- I am fascinated by the era. Mad Men mined gold when Matthew Weiner included President's Kennedy's shocking death in Dallas and how people were effected.

Casting will be major for the mini. In TV history, two actors stand out in my memory for doing a great job as JFK -- William Devane in The Missiles of October and Martin Sheen in Kennedy (a 1983 miniseries). If Surnow and Cassar get performances that great out of whomever they cast, they'll be home free.

In an interesting comment, they're saying that The Kennedys will try to draw parallels to The Godfather. There are similarities, although the Kennedys were an honorable family involved in politics and public service, not olive oil and the Mafia. Yes, yes, I know there were implications of Joe Kennedy being involved in the bootlegging, but generally speaking, the Kennedys were not a criminal dynasty.

The angle about the dominating father manipulating his sons in a quest for power, that works. But the ethnicity is very different as is the social standing in the eyes of the public. The Kennedys were society and class and money; the scandals and tragedies were of a different type than any Corleone vendetta.

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stan de man

i cant wait to see it. i hope it shows that it was not camelot as the liberal media perceives it but it was camehell. drugs, booze, adultery & other typical powerful family indiscresations are not glazed over with syrupy romanticism. i hope they show the cold true nature of the kennedys. there was no love between them just ambition and elitism...cant wait.

December 23 2009 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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