Katie Holmes’ “The Kennedys” finds a home

Can Katie Holmes play Jackie O? That’s the question network after
network — from History Channel to FX, Starz and Showtime — more than
likely said no to after the eight-part miniseries The Kennedys failed
to find a home on any of aforementioned networks. ReelzChannel, however,
thinks otherwise and has picked up the production from 24 executive
producer Joel Surnow and writer Stephen Kronish.

The young cable channel is available in about 60 million homes
nationwide — included on services like DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T,
Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter — and will premiere the expensive
miniseries April 3, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Starring Greg Kinnear as John F. Kennedy, Holmes as Jackie Kennedy,
Barry Pepper
as Robert F. Kennedy and Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy,
pressure from the Kennedy family — including Caroline Kennedy and Maria
— played a role in the series’ abrupt cancellation in January,
with History Channel parent A&E Television Networks stating that the
“dramatic interpretation” wasn’t a fit for the “History brand.”
Insiders at the time told THR
that Caroline Kennedy’s upcoming book featuring a collection of
unreleased interviews with the late Jackie Kennedy timed to the 50th
anniversary of the first year of JFK’s presidency in the fall played a
key role in dumping the series.

While the script could indeed take some liberties with the famed family,
perhaps it was footage of the production that ultimately doomed the
series from the start.

Take a look at the trailer:

Yes, Holmes looks fantastic sporting Jackie’s famous style. The family
home footage scenes are beautifully shot. But then she speaks. And then
Kinnear speaks. The accents are terrible and Holmes, despite her TV
background and critical success on the big screen in films like Thank
You for Smoking
and Pieces of April, comes off lost in a role that’s
truly bigger than she is. No, there certainly will never be another
Camelot if the trailer is any indication.

While Jackie Kennedy Onassis is best known as the former first lady
(from 1961 to Kennedy’s assassination in 1963) with legendary style and
elegance, she also had a successful career as a book editor at Doubleday
press from 1978 to 1994. She is partially remembered for her
contribution to the arts and historic preservation.

Considering the politics behind finding a channel on which to air the
multimillion-dollar production, who’s to say if the “dramatic
interpretation” of the story or the actual performances were to blame
for the shuffling. There’s only one way to find out.

Will you watch The Kennedys?