After all the sturm und drang last winter about the alleged historical inaccuracies of the “History” Channel’s planned miniseries The Kennedys because of the political sympathies of the creators, the “History” Channel itself has pulled the plug on the show (via The Daily Beast.) The Hollywood Reporter says that a network rep released a statement that “upon completion of the production of The Kennedys, History has decided not to air the 8-part miniseries on the network. . . . While the film is produced and acted with the highest quality, after viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.”
Developed by Joel Surnow, the conservative co-creator of 24, along with production companies Asylum Entertainment and Muse Entertainment and writer Stephen Kronish, the project drew fire from the political left and some Kennedy historians. Even before cameras rolled, a front-page New York Times story last February included a sharp attack from former John F. Kennedy adviser Theodore Sorenson, who called an early version of the script “vindictive” and “malicious.”
History and parent A&E said at the time that the script had been revised and that the final version had been vetted by experts. Indeed, the script used in production had passed muster with History historians for accuracy.
“History historians?” WTF? How bad does it have to be to not be fit to share the same channel as Ice Road Truckers?
Anyhoo–lest you think this was some rinky-dink production with actors you’ve never heard of in bad Kennedy wigs and bad Kennedy accents, let me tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong. This was a multi-million dollar production that featured Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes, and Tom Wilkinson in bad Kennedy wigs and bad Kennedy accents! You think I’m being unfair? Check this out:
Now, that’s some seriously low-quality fake Kennedy hair and fake accents. (Is that why “History” nixed it?) Hasn’t everyone figured it out already that only the Kennedys of that generation spoke like “the Kennedys,” and they’re all dead. They had an accent all their own, and no one has ever convincingly faked it.
Fortunately, the show will still air later this winter in Canada and worldwide. A note to all of my Canadian friends: please set your DVRs to record it, and I’ll bring the popcorn! (Go ahead–re-read my post from last winter, in which I predicted the bad accents and the excellent entertainment value in all of that historical incorrectness. Awesome!!!)