After a rough start for the star-studded miniseries "The Kennedys," which included a struggle to find a network to air the show after the History channel backed out, the show is set to premiere on Sunday on ReelzChannel.
However, the show still comes under fire for certain liberties it has taken with history in its dramatic interpretation of the lives of the infamous American political family.
"Whenever Hollywood gets involved with real life events, certain liberties have to be taken. This wasn't a three-year movie capturing Jack's time in office, and it wasn't a 46-year long movie capturing his life, or a 66-year movie capturing the life of his father," the series' star Greg Kinnear, who plays John F. Kennedy, told Entertainment Weekly. "These are specific moments and places and things that unfold in a narrative that I think is well told and told truthfully. That was at least the mandate."
He adds, "The idea was to give people a dramatic, interesting telling of one of the most powerful political families of the 1960s and I like the way it balanced Jack's handling of policy with the family dynamic as well."
Kinnear says, "So much has been written about Jack and the family over the years. I'm hesitant to say it because it doesn't sound like a great sales pitch for the show." He added, "One of the good things about the script is that the characters are not played like cardboard cutouts. They are flawed, three-dimensional people."
The first part of the 8-part miniseries will air on April 3. "The Kennedys" relives the public and private joys and tragedies of the most influential family in the world including fraternal rivalries, mob associations, the drugs and the women," according to ReelzChannel.
It also features Katie Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy, Barry Pepper as his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, who was also fatally shot while campaigning for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, and Tom Wilkinson as his father, Joseph Kennedy.
The History Channel yanked "The Kennedys" from its lineup in January, saying the project did not fit the "History brand." The cable networks Showtime, Starz, FX and more had also reportedly turned down offers to air the miniseries. The real-life Kennedy family and associates felt its scripts are inaccurate and overly critical, the Associated Press said.
Reviews for the miniseries have not been positive. Hank Stuever of The Washing Post wrote, "After so much fuss and a controversial migration down the cable grid, '24' co-creator Joel Surnow's lavish but dullish eight-part miniseries, 'The Kennedys,' favors a curiously prim restraint as it speedily tears through the story of the political dynasty."
"Kennedys feels like a paint-by-numbers recitation of history and a not-very-sordid waste of artistic license. Do the Kennedys look bad in this miniseries? No," The Hollywood Reporter critic Tim Goodman wrote. "They look like cartoons, and anyone with enough interest in politics and family dynasties will be sadly disappointed by the caricatures."