RIP The Kennedys, for Now

by Liz Colville

The History Channel announced Friday that it’s axing the mega-expensive eight-part Kennedy miniseries The Kennedys, which was to see Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear in the title roles of Jackie and John. There’s a chance the film will see the light of day on another network — Lifetime? You into it? Of course you are. But for now, it’s staying put. On a shelf.

The History Channel was attempting to change course a bit with this series: the network is already getting big on reality programming about gators and auctions and things (“If it’s happening, it’s history,” being a potential motto they could use, if interested). But after historians drew attention to historical inaccuracies in the Kennedys script, the History Channel likely started reconsidering whether this was the right program with which to introduce a new image. In its announcement, A&E;, which owns the History Channel, said 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.” But has anyone ever really cared about The Facts of the Kennedys? Is it perhaps somehow more respectful to have a disclaimer at the beginning of the thing that says, “This is all bull, because the truth is none of our business, but aren’t these folks inspiring? Don’t you just have the biggest trouble getting over them? Now enjoy!”

Interestingly, it’s still airing in Canada in March, and is expected to air in other countries following that, which makes you wonder what other lies the world might be hearing about America through their televisions.

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