Canadian Broadcaster Stands by Decision to Air Controversial Kennedy Miniseries

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“Shaw Media is committed to the production... and will broadcast as planned in Spring 2011,” the net’s VP said in a statement days after THR first broke the news the series had lost its U.S. home.

TORONTO -- The Kennedys may need a new U.S. home, but Canadian broadcaster Shaw Media is standing behind the controversial eight-part mini-series.

"Shaw Media is committed to the production of The Kennedys and will broadcast the production in Canada as planned, in Spring 2011,” Barbara Williams, senior vp of content at the broadcaster, said in a statement.

The Canuck broadcaster is awaiting confirmation of a U.S. deal from co-producers Muse Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment before scheduling The Kennedys for a spring 2011 premiere north of the border. Shaw Media, which has the first Canadian window, is also undecided on whether to air The Kennedys on its main Global Television network, or on one of its cable channels, likely History Television or Showcase.

Muse Entertainment on Monday said the miniseries has been licensed in over 30 territories worldwide, and that all networks are standing firm on airing the lavish drama about the American political dynasty, so far.

The Canadian co-producer also defended the historical accuracy of The Kennedys, with Muse president Michael Prupas insisting the mini-series was “rich” in historic detail. “All who worked on the production made every effort to faithfully and honestly tell the Kennedy family story,” he said in a statement. “We meticulously researched all story points and made sure they were supported by multiple respected and objective sources. We are confident that we accurately and authentically recreated each of the events that occurred,” he added.

Prupas argued that History Channel backed away from The Kennedys long after executives at the U.S. channel read and approved scripts, and screened the final cuts on all episodes. “Furthermore, our errors and missions insurer’s attorneys reviewed all the scripts and edited episodes – and they have cleared all of the episodes for broadcast,” he said.