“The Kennedys” lives on as ReelzChannel has picked up a sequel miniseries with Katie Holmes attached to reprise her role as the former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The four-part “The Kennedys: After Camelot” will follow the story of Jackie and the family after the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy.
Also coming back are the production team of Muse Entertainment, director Jon Cassar and writer Stephen Kronish. Holmes will also direct an episode of the follow-up miniseries, and serve as an executive producer alongside Intuition Productions owner Keri Selig. Cassar will direct the other three installments.
The first miniseries ended shortly after the deaths of the Kennedy brothers. But as Michael Prupas, president and CEO of Muse, pointed out, “The Kennedy family made a lasting mark on America and the world even after John and Robert Kennedy’s assassinations by championing universal healthcare and by creating the Special Olympics and by continuing to act as international ambassadors for many other worthy causes.”
The four-part sequel miniseries is based on the book “After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present,” by J. Randy Taraborrelli. It is set to begin production in Spring 2015, targeting a 2016 premiere.
“Katie elegantly portrayed Jackie Kennedy in the first miniseries and now will continue the role as Jackie grows into the Jackie O that the world knows best,” said Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard. “Katie is brave, committed and perfect for this role. She is a strong, talented woman who understands how special and respected Jackie Kennedy, and then Jackie Onassis was, as an international icon.”
“‘The Kennedys’ was a brilliant execution of storytelling based on the lives of one of the world’s best known families,” added Hubbard. “We are delighted that we were able to step up and acquire the broadcast rights to that property and we have every confidence that this new miniseries will be as enthusiastically received as the last one.”
“The Kennedys” scored 1.9 million viewers with its original airing, including an encore immediately following, setting a new viewership record for ReelzNetwork. It went on to earn four Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, winning one for Outstanding Lead Actor
The production proved controversial well before its Reelz premiere in April 2011. Criticized for early scripts’ perceived historical innacuracy, and an unflattering portrayal of the beloved family, History channel ultimately dropped the eight-part series, saying it did not fit their brand. While several other networks briefly considered picking it up, it was Reelz that ultimately brought the project to the screen.