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September 2, 2014

The Kennedys

PBS Triumphs at the Emmys With 'Downton Abbey'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 19th 2011 7:00AM
'Gosford Park' Emmy winnersLast night PBS period drama 'Downton Abbey' bagged four Emmy Awards, making it one of the biggest winners of the night, and helping PBS land the coveted spot of top broadcast network at the awards.

Together with the Creative Arts Emmys, which were held last week, PBS scooped 14 Emmys in total, making it the most successful broadcast network. HBO was the top cable network, with 19.

'Downton Abbey' won the Emmy for Outstanding Made For Television Movie/Miniseries, in what creator Julian Fellowes called a David and Goliath story, "except in this case Goliath was wonderful, some wonderful shows that we were up against, and it seems perfectly extraordinary that we've won."

The Masterpiece drama was victorious in a strong field dominated by Emmy powerhouse HBO, which had three nominations -- 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Too Big to Fail' and 'Cinema Verité.'

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What to Watch: TV Picks for July 4 - 10

by Stephanie Earp, posted Jul 4th 2011 10:39AM
Friday Night Lights - Wednesday July 6, 9PM ET/PT, Global/NBC

The series and season finale of one of the finest pieces of television ever made airs tonight. Like any other epic ending, there are engagements, reunions, job changes, and plenty of nods to the very first episode. Basically, you're going to need an entire box of tissue to get through this. In the end, you'll probably feel that each of the characters winds up where you'd hoped they would -- or at least that they made the best of things. The real tears come from realizing that from now on you have to live without them.

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Jon Cassar Sets the Record Straight About 'The Kennedys'

by Chris Jancelewicz, posted Apr 12th 2011 1:00PM


Jon Cassar, director and producer of seasons 1–7 of '24,' took on a new beast when he wrangled the miniseries 'The Kennedys' onto prime time as director. Inherently contentious and polarizing, documenting the Kennedy family for TV was bound to be a button-pusher and divider of critics. 'The Kennedys' did just that; TV pundits fall on one side of the fence or the other, and viewers either love it or hate it.

AOL Television caught up with Cassar to set the record straight about numerous rumors dogging the production and presentation of 'The Kennedys,' from the allegedly doctored viewer numbers to why the History Channel pulled out at the last minute.

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RFK Is Assassinated on 'The Kennedys' (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Apr 11th 2011 7:00AM
Robert Kennedy Is Killed on 'Kennedys'A lot has been said about the historical accuracy (or inaccuracy) of 'The Kennedys' (Sun., 8PM ET on REELZ). But one thing it'd be difficult to fudge: the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Then again, it wasn't portrayed exactly as it happened.

After the U.S. Senator clinched the California presidential primary, Kennedy gave a victory speech in the early hours of June 5, 1968, at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. When he left the building, he took a shortcut through the kitchen.

It was there that Sirhan Sirhan opened fire. On 'The Kennedys', his wife Ethel was quickly ushered to his side. "Is everyone else OK?" he whispered to her. Before losing consciousness, memories of his life as a family man flashed through his mind, such as walking along the beach with Ethel and their children.

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Reelz Fudged 'Kennedys' Ratings, Snooki Quits Wrestling and More TV News

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 5th 2011 6:15PM
The KennedysTurns out, the first two hours of 'The Kennedys' miniseries wasn't the record-breaking success Reelz Channel wanted us to think it was.

Although the network reported an audience of 1.9 million, actual Nielsen numbers put the total at 1.3 million. That's 30 percent lower, Vulture points out.

So, what does Reelz have to say about the conflicting reports? A rep told Vulture, "The numbers we reported yesterday were fast national of average viewers per minute when we add our two showings (8PM East and 8PM West) together, which is the gross audience for an average minute."

Oooookay.

In other TV news ...

The HBO Films movie about the financial collapse, 'Too Big to Fail,' will debut May 23. It stars William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Cynthia Nixon, Bill Pullman and more. [HBO]

Although Snooki's unexpected gymnastic prowess surprised the world after her appearance on Wrestlemania, she says she's done with wrestling. "I'm pretty busy with 'Jersey Shore,' so I doubt [I'll continue]," she said. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Breaking news: The Science Channel is changing its name ... to plain old Science. In a press release, the network mentioned it wanted to be "the official home of the Thought Provocateur -- the individual who is constantly asking 'What if?' and 'Why not?'" [THR]

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'The Kennedys': The Accent Strikes Back

by Stephanie Earp, posted Apr 4th 2011 8:30PM


By now, you've probably heard a lot of things about the miniseries 'The Kennedys.' You've likely heard that's it's wildly inaccurate and that's why History Channel dropped it. Or maybe you've heard it spun the other way -- that it's too close to the bone, and the remaining Kennedys fought the production. You're probably aware that Katie Holmes plays the legendary Jackie O. and does a terrible job. If you've been following it very closely, you may also be aware that the series was produced by a conservative (Joel Surnow, '24') and a whole bunch of spin has been applied to that angle too.

All of these things are true, but none of them get the heart of what makes 'The Kennedys' so deliciously bad.

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Kyle Richards Might Not Return to 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' 'The Killing' Posts Respectable Debut Ratings and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 4th 2011 5:45PM
Kyle RichardsWould you watch a Kyle Richards–less 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'?

The Bravo show has been renewed for a second season, but the cast contracts aren't finalized. While past speculation has focused on Camille Grammer as the housewife most likely to pass on season 2, Richards told E! Online this weekend that she wasn't sure if she'd definitely return to the show.

"We're not really sure who's coming back yet, so we'll see," she told E!. "Right now we're deciding. It's a family decision between my husband, my kids and I, and we have a little time to decide and I'm kind of deciding what I want to do."

Bravo usually doesn't comment on cast decisions until right before the seasons premiere.

In other TV news ...

AMC's highly praised 'The Killing' and Reelz Channel's much-maligned 'The Kennedys' both performed well for their respective networks this weekend. 'The Borgias' also drew a record 1.5 million viewers for Showtime. 'The Killing' saw an audience of 4.7 million in two showings last night, while a record 1.9 million viewers tuned in for the first part of the 'Kennedys' miniseries. That's not saying too much, though, since we doubt many people even knew they had the channel before ... [Entertainment Weekly]

Get ready for more Andy Cohen. The Bravo honcho's 'Watch What Happens Live' was just renewed for a fifth season. The 100th episode of the late-night talk show will air after the 'Real Housewives of New York City' premiere on Thursday night. [TV Guide]

At Oxygen's upfront presentation today, the network announced three new series, as well as the premiere dates for its 'Glee' and Paris Hilton reality shows. 'The Glee Project' will bow June 12 and 'The World According to Paris' will debut June 1. As for the new shows, 'Maids of Drama' chronicles the adventures of bridesmaids, 'Lost Angels' follows Olivia Newton John's daughter Chloe Lattanzi, and 'My Post-Grad Life' is about two women trying to find careers in Philadelphia and Boston. [Deadline]

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'The Kennedys' Miniseries Premiere Recap

by Alex Moaba, posted Apr 4th 2011 11:40AM
The long-awaited, much-buzzed-about-for-all-the-wrong-reasons miniseries 'The Kennedys' premiered Sunday night against a backdrop of thematically similar programming: 'The Borgias,' another story about a family's ruthless and debauched political dynasty, and next week's British royal wedding, which will undoubtedly prove our enduring obsession with real-life kings and queens.

But unfortunately for the 'The Kennedys,' and the suddenly upstart Reelz Channel, this miniseries may end up having more in common with Charlie Sheen's 'Torpedo of Truth' tour, another easily predictable disaster that somehow drew audiences in despite their better instincts.

The first two hours of the series, which rotated between the 1960 presidential election and various stages of World War II, served as an introduction to this interpretation of the Kennedy clan. The narrative covers a lot of ground, usually in three- or six-month intervals. We see major events in the family's history, like the sudden demise of Joseph Kennedy's presidential ambitions, eldest son Joe's death in WWII, many walks on the beach at the family compound in Cape Cod, and the launch of Jack's political career.

But much of 'The Kennedys' is like walking around a wax museum animated by low-grade robotics. Thanks to strong casting, the characters look remarkably like the the historical figures they're playing; it's only once you see them up close that it becomes clear how stiff and vacuous many of them are.

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'The Kennedys' to Air on ReelzChannel April 3

by Chris Harnick, posted Feb 1st 2011 2:40PM
The Kennedys'The Kennedys' miniseries will finally be seen on April 3 ... on ReelzChannel.

Never heard of the four-year-old channel? You're not alone.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the controversial miniseries ended its three weeks of limbo with a big financial commitment from Reelz, a Minnesota-based Hubbard Communications property.

"We think it will drive ratings and put a spotlight on this network that has never been on it before," Steve Hubbard, CEO of Hubbard Communications, told the Hollywood Reporter. "We're going to do a full-blown marketing campaign."

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'The Kennedys' Could Air in Syndication, Jimmy Fallon Writes a Book and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 31st 2011 12:05PM
The KennedysEven though multiple cable networks have passed on airing the controversial 'Kennedys' miniseries, it could still come to a TV screen near you.

According to Deadline, producers are in talks to sign a syndication deal with Tribune Broadcasting. After Showtime, DirecTV and Starz all passed on the eight-part series, which was canceled by the History Channel after concerns over historical accuracy, several basic cable networks reportedly showed interest in airing the film as well. However, Deadline reports that the producers would rather sell 'The Kennedys' to syndication.

In other TV news ...

Jimmy Fallon is writing a book. The talk show host will turn his weekly bit about writing thank-you notes into two different books called, well, 'Thank You Notes.' The first will be released on May 23, the second in spring of 2012. [Variety]

Marcos Siega, the man who helmed the first episode of The CW's 'The Vampire Diaries,' will be in charge of another sure-to-be-hit series. Siega has been tapped to direct the pilot of the new 'Charlie's Angels' reboot, which stars Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh. [Entertainment Weekly]

When you see that 'Grease' is on cable, do you immediately stop channel surfing so you can sing along to your favorite faux-'50s musical? Then have we got the cable event for you: Oxygen will air a 'Grease' sing-along on Feb. 4 at 9:30PM ET to kick off a 12-hour 'Glee' marathon. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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NBC Orders 'Glee' Competitor to Pilot, Matthew Weiner Still Without 'Mad Men' Deal and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 24th 2011 11:40AM
NBCCould 'Glee' have a musical competitor?

As we enter the thick of pilot season, networks have been greenlighting pilots to consider for the 2011-2012 season. One of the biggest in the works is NBC's 'Smash.' According to Deadline, it's based on an idea from Steven Spielberg about putting on a Broadway musical, and would feature original songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Among the other pilots picked up this weekend were a comedy called 'Vince Uncensored,' from Conan O'Brien's production company (it went to CBS, according to Entertainment Weekly), a thriller/drama called 'Exit Strategy,' starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Antoine Fuqua (snagged by Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter, along with two comedies, per Deadline), and David E. Kelley's previously D.O.A. 'Wonder Woman' (which landed at NBC, reports Deadline).

In other TV news ...

Matthew Weiner would love to start writing the fifth season of 'Mad Men,' if AMC would sign a deal already. "I have every intention of making the show when they decide to work out their business with Lionsgate," he said. "I can't wait to come back to work ... I am not looking for a new job." [EW]

Kevin Smith, Kevin Pollak and Adam Carolla will star in AOL's new nightly talk show. The web video series will team up with the actors' existing podcasts for new episodes every Monday through Thursday, with a best-of installment on Fridays. [AOL]

Could Keith Olbermann have a new gig already? 'The Social Network' writer Aaron Sorkin has been developing a comedy set behind the scenes at a cable news show. Now that it's getting closer to a pilot pickup and Olbermann is out of a gig, sources are speculating that he could contribute to the series. [EW]

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Geraldo Unleashes the Worst JFK Impression Ever (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Jan 21st 2011 4:05PM
Geraldo Rivera was on 'Fox & Friends' (weekdays, 6 AM ET on Fox News) where he discussed the controversial eight-hour, $30 million TV miniseries 'The Kennedys,' which The History Channel spiked and Showtime passed on, allegedly because of complaints from the Kennedy family.

According to Geraldo, the Kennedy's objected to a storyline that focused on the family's "rowdy, sex-obsessed nature." To demonstate the tone of miniseries, Geraldo read a racy line from the script, in what was supposed to sound like the voice of John F. Kennedy.

"I love lobster. But not every night. If I don't get some strange ass every couple days I get migraines," Geraldo imitated, displaying hints of both a British and Southern accent, but nothing remotely close to JFK's iconic -- and not particularly hard to imitate -- upper-crust Boston accent.

That this reading may be the closest 'The Kennedys' ever comes to being aired on TV made Geraldo's woeful JFK impression all the more sad.

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Jesse Eisenberg, Dana Carvey to Host 'Saturday Night Live,' 'Jersey Shore' Breaks Records Again and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 14th 2011 6:40PM
Jesse EisenbergCurrent Hollywood darling Jesse Eisenberg is adding a new feather to his rapidly growing hat: 'Saturday Night Live' host. To add even more excitement to the Jan. 29 show, Nicki Minaj will be the musical guest.

According to NBC, Dana Carvey will host 'Saturday Night Live' Feb. 5. You know what that hopefully means? The Church Lady. This is Carvey's fourth time as host. Linkin Park will be the musical guest.

In other TV news ...

ABC has ordered 'Subergatory' to pilot. The project from 'Parks and Recreation' writer Emily Kapnek follows a young city-raised girl after she moves to the suburbs. [Entertainment Weekly]

DirecTV is in talks to air 'The Kennedys.' If DirecTV picks up the miniseries that was canceled by History it will air on the satellite provider's Channel 101. Showtime, FX and Starz passed on the series [TVLine]

'Jersey Shore' scored record ratings -- again. The MTV reality show grabbed 8.6 million viewers, topping the record set by last week's premiere by 2 percent. In the 18-49 demo, the show was seen by 4.4 million viewers. For the record, it beat 'Off the Map' and 'Grey's Anatomy.' [EW]

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Showtime Won't Air 'Kennedys' Miniseries Either

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 12th 2011 5:20PM
The KennedysIt's looking more and more like a direct-to-DVD release for the History Channel's controversial 'Kennedys' miniseries.

The options are narrowing for an American television debut now that Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Showtime has decided not to buy the eight-part movie about the political dynasty. After History announced it wouldn't air the miniseries, Showtime was the most buzzed-about option. Starz and FX bowed out of the running yesterday.

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Starz, FX Pass on 'Kennedys' Miniseries, Former 'Big Brother' Contestants Face Prison Time and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 11th 2011 3:00PM
The KennedysHistory's ousted 'The Kennedys' miniseries continues to look for a home: Starz and FX have passed on airing the series.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, with Starz and FX out of the running, there are very few options for the controversial project. Disney and NBC Universal executives reportedly had a role in having the series yanked, so their networks are out.

HBO is working on its own project on the Kennedy legacy, leaving Showtime as one of the last cable networks that could save the project. Another possibility is releasing the series directly to DVD. Given the buzz around it, sales and/or ratings will probably be high.

"Most of the cable nets are part of huge media companies, so they're all subject to the same pressures," Brad Adgate, media buyer and TV analyst for Horizon Media, said. "This might go straight to video."

In other TV news ...

Veteran TV writer Del Reisman has died. Reisman, known for his work on 'Peyton Place,' 'Charlie's Angels' and 'Cagney & Lacey,' was 86. Reisman also served as president of the Writers Guild of America West and co-wrote the film 'The Take.' [Variety]

HBO has passed on 'Doucmental,' the comedy pilot from Justin Theroux, Steve Coogan and Ben Stiller. HBO has also passed on 'Miraculous Year' and 'All Signs of Death.' [Deadline Hollywood]

ABC has ordered a pilot for 'Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23.' The project follows a young woman as she moves to the city and ends up with a partying roommate. [Entertainment Weekly]

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