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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 01/10/2011

Kennedy clan lobbied to kill History's JFK miniseries

By Lisa de Moraes

[This post has been updated.]

Did the Kennedy clan kill History's John F. Kennedy miniseries?

Katie Holmes starred as Jackie Kennedy in the now-scrapped History miniseries, "The Kennedys." (AP)

Last week, just hours after History and Lifetime president Nancy Dubuc appeared at Winter TV Press Tour 2011 to promote some of her network's new projects -- a Lifetime movie starring Hayden Panettiere about the Amanda Knox trial, and a Lifetime series in which Heidi Klum mugs with precocious moppets -- word got out that her much-balleyhooed History miniseries had been canceled.

At the time, the network issued a statement saying: "Upon completion of the production of 'The Kennedys,' History has decided not to air the eight-part miniseries," adding that "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."

But, the explanation seemed a little fishy. Yes, this project has been radioactive from the get-go; the project was lambasted by Kennedy historians, including former JFK adviser Theodore Sorenson, who called the script "vindictive" and "malicious."

But, presumably, network executives had signed off on the script, and surely someone from the network was looking at the dailies.

However, Caroline Kennedy, JFK's daughter, is working on editing a book of unreleased interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy; she will also write an introduction to the book, which Disney's Hyperion plans to release in September to mark the 50th anniversary of JFK's administration.

Disney is one of the owners of A&E Television Networks, which owns History.

And of course, another JFK kin, former California First Lady Maria Shriver, has a long relationship with NBC News.

NBC Universal is another of the co-owners of A&E Television Networks.

The two family members were involved in History Channel's surprising eleventh-hour decision not to telecast the controversial miniseries in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Asked to comment, a Disney rep referred the TV Column to History's statement issued Friday. A&E Television Network and NBC Universal reps declined to comment.

By Lisa de Moraes  | January 10, 2011; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Caroline Kennedy is JFK's daughter you dummy.

Posted by: adaniels1 | January 10, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Caroline is JFK's daughter and JFK Jr's sister. Washington Post please review and edit material before submission.

Posted by: NovA5 | January 10, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Now we must not use the word "kill" because some illiterate democrat will think your "targeting" the producers!

Posted by: IamWright | January 10, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I did mean "you're" of course!

Posted by: IamWright | January 10, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

It's good that "your" not illiterate.

Posted by: justmike | January 10, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Where do they dig up these idiot reporters.

Posted by: RB1019 | January 10, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Not much substance in this article, is there, despite the misleading but unsubstantiated headline? And some of it ("JFK's sister") is egregiously wrong.
WaPo, please consider finding a reporter with some competence, even for fluff areas like this one.
The topic of whether or not there was precensorship of a TV series COULD be significant and highly relevant to many readers, but they won't get any information from this article.

Posted by: Lamentations | January 10, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

So does a typo and bad familial reference mean the story itself is not true? The disproportionate anger and nastiness of some of the posters is amazing.

Posted by: Baltesq | January 10, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Well there's always the grammar police to highlight every negative. However the substance of the story, while not definitive, certainly has verisimilitude and plausibility.

Posted by: ronjaboy | January 10, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Why did they let the movie out of them killing Goerge W. Bush?

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 10, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Kennedys... is not a fit for the History Brand." Good. I'd hate to see them dilute the quality of their programming like UFO Hunters and Life After People.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 10, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I liked "Life after People"!

Posted by: justmike | January 10, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The History Channel is all about kooky conspiracy speculation. I guess a factual representation simply did not fit.

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 10, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Yep, hate for the American people to learn about the "Liberal Lion" who murdered a young intern and then tried to collude with our enemies the Soviet Union in the early 1980s.

Might make them wonder why the recent lovefest by all the LEFTIST MSM and Commu-crats over a man who sent letters and envoys to the Soviets offering his assistance and asking their help in attacking and defeating Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: LogicalSC | January 10, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

In 10 more years, the Kennedys will be completely forgotten.

Posted by: taonima2000 | January 10, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

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