'We knew when we bought this what was going on. We knew it was a risk,' president and CEO of ReelzChannel, Stan Hubbard said.
ReelzChannel may have saved "The Kennedys" from death but it is facing its own woes. The cable's head Stan Hubbard revealed, "Advertisers are scared to death of this. They told us point blank, 'It's too politically hot'." The controversial miniseries is three weeks away from its April 3 premiere.
ReelzChannel picked up "Kennedys" after History channel dumped it for the reason it is "not a fit for the History brand" and too "dramatic". First offered for syndication deal, the 8-part miniseries about the assassinated former U.S. president and his family was picked up by ReelzChannel in January.
But the cable's decision has led to the inevitable problem. ReelzChannel, which only had two months to sell it, failed to line up any major sponsors with only 20 percent of its inventory has been sold, THR reports. Some companies do not have the budget, while some simply avoided the risk. "This shouldn't be controversial. There should be plenty of businesses that should be behind it," said a frustrated Hubbard. "It's nonsensical."
Hubbard also blamed it on the press for twisting History's reason not to pick it up because of its raunchy content and protest from the Kennedy family. "Once people see this, they'll wonder what the big deal was. It's well-researched, it's not salacious, it isn't Kennedy bashing," he said. "It's a great cast giving a career performance."
The channel, which reaches more than 50% TV household, has offered screenings and 40 custom spots around the movie in order to net advertisers.