Scandal alert: Katie Holmes’ Kennedy movie canned
Seeing the words “Kennedy” and “scandal” in the same sentence is old pillbox hat, if you will. “Scandal” and “Cobourg, Ontario,” not so much. But how else to describe the somewhat shocking cancellation of the highly anticipated and already completed Kennedy miniseries that was shot in Ontario’s feel-good town last year? The Kennedys, starring Greg Kinnear as JFK and Katie Holmes as Jackie, was originally set to air on the History Channel next spring. So why did the multimillion-dollar project (and guaranteed ratings juggernaut) end up on the cutting room floor? Here’s the official reason: “Upon completion of the production of The Kennedys, History has decided not to air the eight-part miniseries on the network.” But of course, in true Kennedy fashion, there’s a smutty behind-the-scenes explanation, as well.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, History’s parent company, A&E Television Networks, received a whole lot of pressure from JFK’s only living offspring, Caroline Kennedy, who reportedly also called in favours from her contacts at Disney/ABC with influence over the project—and even used her involvement in an upcoming book about her iconic mother (to be published by Disney) as leverage. Meanwhile, her cousin Maria Shriver (a.k.a. Mrs. Arnold Schwarzenegger) did everything she could to, ahem, terminate the project by strong-arming her former co-workers at NBC (AETN is co-owned by a group that includes the Walt Disney Co. and NBC Universal). And here we thought Republicans were the shady backroom bullies.
The bad news: much of the world may miss the opportunity to see an all-star cast portray one of the most controversial clans in history (and with all this hoopla, you just know there must be some seriously filthy laundry in question). The good news: we won’t. Shaw Media, the local network that broadcasts Rookie Blue, ET Canada and The Opener, will air The Kennedys this March.