Joel Surnow preps 'Kennedys' tale

10-hour drama project would 'unveil secrets' about family

Joel Surnow, the conservative co-creator of "24," is shopping a 10-hour miniseries on the Kennedy family.

The Canadian-based project from Muse Entertainment will be pitched internationally this weekend at the MIPTV confab in Cannes. The drama, titled "The Kennedys," promises to "unveil secrets" about the clan.

" 'The Kennedys' takes an inside look behind the secret doors of the White House, (and) the soiled and crooked steps it took to get there," the release reads. "It also tells the historical stories that are associated with the Kennedy era -- the Bay of Pigs, the Missile Crisis, the civil rights struggle, the mob connection -- each one told in the context of personal, Kennedy-family dramas."

Surnow is attached to executive produce the project, which has a planned budget of $30 million, with "24" partner Stephen Kronish, Michael Prupas of Muse Entertainment and Jonathan Koch and Steven Michaels of Asylum Entertainment. A major U.S. cable network is in talks to acquire the project for domestic release.

"This will be the most interesting family saga to be brought to the screen in a very long time," Prupas said. "It will be surprising, arresting and truthful ... with human drama at its core."

The right-leaning Surnow taking on the first family of liberal politics is sure to spark conversation, though producers assure that the project will be balanced.

"The series is neither a hatchet job nor a valentine," they said. "The Kennedys are portrayed not as mythic figures but as human beings, capable of both greatness on a grand scale and all-too-human frailty on a private one. It is a window onto the emotional minefield that made the Kennedys what they were."