'The Kennedys' Impresses With Canadian TV Debut

The controversial mini-series, shot in Toronto, draws nearly 900,000 viewers for its opening night on Canada's History Television.

TORONTO – The war over The Kennedys helped draw 889,000 opening night viewers to Canada’s History Television, just shy of a record bow for the cable channel.

During the two-hour premiere on Sunday night, 2.3 million Canadians sampled the controversial mini-series, which drew 335,000 in the key 25-54 demo, according to BBM Canada data.

The Kennedys, which was shot in Toronto, drew a record 1.9 million viewers during a week-earlier stateside bow on Reelzchannel.


In a Canadian market where one million viewers for a new TV show on a conventional TV network is considered a hit, drawing nearly 900,000 viewers for a mini-series on a niche cable channel is a coup for History Television. 


The Canadian channel secured its second highest-rated series premiere among total viewers with The Kennedys, behind Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads, which grabbed just over 1 million viewers on Jan. 12, 2011.

Leaving ReelzChannel with a world premiere of The Kennedys on April 3, History Television is to air the mini-series as a four-part TV movie from April 10, at 9 p.m.

Despite the A&E Television Network’s History channel ditching The Kennedys early on, and forcing sub-distribution on ReelzChannel, History Television-parent Shaw Media waited patiently for Canadian producer Muse Entertainment, working in association with Asylum Entertainment, to find a replacement U.S. home for its Camelot-themed mini-series before going ahead with the Canadian launch.