Star-studded JFK TV series is pulled over 'malicious' script

David Bauder

The History Channel will not air a controversial mini-series about the Kennedy family, saying the multimillion project did not fit the "History brand".

The eight-part series had already been completed, and starred Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes as President John F Kennedy and his wife, Jackie.

But during its production, critics including former Kennedy administration aide Theodore Sorenson attacked the scripts as inaccurate. The role of producer Joel Surnow, a political conservative, also drew suspicion from fans of the Kennedy family.

"We have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand," the network said in a statement.

"We recognise historical fiction is an important medium for storytelling and commend all the hard work and passion that has gone into the making of the series, but ultimately deem this as the right programming decision for our network."

The decision was reminiscent of CBS's 2003 decision not to air a mini-series based on the life of President Ronald Reagan, which had also attracted political controversy prior to airing. Sorenson, a former adviser to Kennedy, called a script he had seen vindictive and malicious.

Although History is not airing it, The Kennedys is expected to be seen elsewhere. History does not control rights to the film outside of the United States and the company that does, Muse Entertainment, has sold rights to various other networks.