The History Channel (I have a problem calling it just “History”) has cast the main roles in its controversial 8-part scripted miniseries about the Kennedy administration, with Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes set to star as the assassinated president and his glamorous Guinevere. It’s the first time the two have worked together since Katie’s brilliant work (NSFW) in The Gift. Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, 61*) will play Robert F. Kennedy, and Tom Wilkinson will portray HMIC (head mick in charge) Joe Kennedy.
The basic cable network caused a storm back in December when it announced its first stab at a scripted miniseries, mostly because the Kennedy project hails from Joel Surnow — an outspoken conservative who hobnobs with Rush Limbaugh, blah, blah, blah… The miniseries’s screenwriter, Stephen Kronish, says he’s a liberal Democrat.
When the project came to light, a variety of historians who’d read an early version of the script reacted with varying degrees of knicker-knottedness, and a petition was making the rounds for people to sign, vowing not to watch the “right-wing character assassination masquerading as ‘history.’ ” The critics said the script contained factual errors — and, of course, that scene in which the president tells his brother Bobby that if he doesn’t have sex with unfamiliar women “every couple of days I get migraines.” [WaPo's Lisa de Moraes]
All things considered, I think this sounds okay. That’s a pretty solid cast for a basic cable miniseries, and who cares about anyone’s politics or whether the script is perfectly factual. At least it’s SOME kind of portrayal of historical events, which is all I really want from the HISTORY Channel. It’s a nice change of pace from “Ice Road Truckers.”