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Rob Lowe to Play JFK for Nat Geo’s ‘Killing Kennedy’

Ginnifer Goodwin will co-star as the beloved former First Lady

Rob Lowe looks like a Kennedy, so it is only fitting that the politically involved actor is now playing one.

Lowe, who famously walked off his last "West Wing" stint, will star as President John F. Kennedy in National Geographic Channel’s upcoming two-hour drama, “Killing Kennedy,” the network announced Tuesday. Ginnifer Goodwin will co-star as First Lady Jackie Kennedy, and Michelle Trachtenberg — in her first Russian-speaking role — plays Marina Oswald.

The two-hour original drama, which chronicles the assassination of the former president, is based on the bestseller by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Directed by Nelson McCormick, also of "The West Wing, " it will air in 171 countries and 38 languages. 

This is the Nat Geo's second collaboration with Lowe this year. In April, he narrated the network’s six-part miniseries, "The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us," watched by more than a million viewers.

"Killing Kennedy" also marks the second time that National Geographic Channel, Scott Free Productions and Bill O’Reilly are joining forces. In February, the channel aired the Scott Free production of O’Reilly’s "Killing Lincoln," the most-watched program in the channel’s history. The trio have already announced plans to team for a third time on O’Reilly’s next book, "Killing Jesus."

“We are thrilled to be working with Rob Lowe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Michelle Trachtenberg, three gifted artists whom have responded to this timely, authentic and entertaining material,” Howard T. Owens, president of the National Geographic Channels, said in a statement. “With 'Killing Kennedy,' timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, National Geographic Channel continues to bring daring, culturally significant television events to our growing global audience.”

Also read: Rob Lowe's Son Matthew to Start Internship on Capitol Hill

McCormick also directed the critically acclaimed feature films “Prom Night” and “The Stepfather.” Kelly Masterson wrote the "Killing Kennedy" teleplay. The list of executive producers includes David Zucker and Mary Lisio for Scott Free Productions, Howard T. Owens, Noel Siegel, Charlie Parsons, Richard E. Wells and Teri Weinberg for National Geographc.

Production on "Killing Kennedy" will begin in June in Richmond, Va.

Here's what Nat Geo said about the television drama:

"'Killing Kennedy' opens in 1959, at major turning points for both the future president and his assassin. John F. Kennedy is in Washington, D.C., announcing his presidential candidacy, while Lee Harvey Oswald finds himself in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, renouncing his U.S. citizenship. These two events start both men – one a member of one of the United States’ most wealthy and powerful families, the other a disillusioned former Marine and Marxist – on a cataclysmic track that would alter the course of history. Throughout we see their highs and lows, culminating in not one but two shocking deaths that stunned the nation."