Last Friday, History Channel announced that it was pulling the Kennedy Family miniseries from its schedule. You know, the one where Katie Holmes is playing Jacqueline Kennedy? But as much as you want to drop a Ha Ha Ha onto Robo’s lap, this actually has nothing to do with her. In fact, it will probably help her. It’s also a very, very good example of how sh-t works in Hollywood. How favours and threats inform every decision.

History’s official excuse for not airing the show was that the production’s “dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand”, despite the fact that the “dramatic interpretation” didn’t seem to affect its ability to market the show. Indeed, sponsorship and ad sales were strong. But the Kennedys are not happy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver who cockblocked the miniseries. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • History is owned by A&E. A&E is part owned by Disney.
  • Caroline Kennedy has a book deal with Disney/Hyperion and she’s working on a project about her parents, and will be releasing brand new audio of her mother along with it. She’s also supposed to promote the collection of materials all over ABC, also affiliated with Disney.
  • Caroline supposedly threatened to pull back on cooperation if History went ahead with the miniseries.
  • History killed it.

Which, frankly, only makes me want to see it more. And that’s why the show is currently being offered to other networks. Those networks would be stupid not to give it a go, especially with the free press, knowing now that the Kennedys find the content so objectionable. I didn’t care before but my curiosity about the project is definitely a LOT more than it was last week. This wasn’t very well played, was it?

By the way, The Kennedys will still air on History Television in Canada.

Click here for more information on how the Kennedys used their influence to yank the production.

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