The triumphs and tragedies of the most popular political family in American history.
4,693 ( 549)




Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 12 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Greg Kinnear ...  Jack Kennedy 8 episodes, 2011
Barry Pepper ...  Bobby Kennedy 8 episodes, 2011
Katie Holmes ...  Jackie Kennedy 8 episodes, 2011
Tom Wilkinson ...  Joe Kennedy Sr. 8 episodes, 2011
Diana Hardcastle ...  Rose Kennedy 8 episodes, 2011
Kristin Booth ...  Ethel Kennedy 8 episodes, 2011
Rothaford Gray ...  Agent Abraham Bolden 5 episodes, 2011
Janelle Hutchison Janelle Hutchison ...  Evelyn Lincoln 4 episodes, 2011
Rachel Wilson ...  Michelle 4 episodes, 2011
Serge Houde ...  Sam Giancana 4 episodes, 2011
Ava Preston ...  Caroline Kennedy 4 episodes, 2011
Angela Besharah ...  Ann Gargan 4 episodes, 2011
Jonathan Whittaker ...  Robert McNamara 3 episodes, 2011
Don Allison Don Allison ...  Lyndon Johnson 3 episodes, 2011
Barry Flatman ...  General Thomas Bennett 3 episodes, 2011
Dan Lett ...  McGeorge Bundy 3 episodes, 2011
Enrico Colantoni ...  J. Edgar Hoover 3 episodes, 2011
Jane Moffat ...  Letitia Baldrige 3 episodes, 2011
John Bourgeois ...  Dr. Max Jacobson 3 episodes, 2011
Tedde Moore ...  Mrs. Shaw 3 episodes, 2011
Eliza Preston Eliza Preston ...  Caroline Kennedy 2 episodes, 2011
Kristin Adams ...  Cynthia 2 episodes, 2011
Glen Gaston Glen Gaston ...  Dean Rusk 2 episodes, 2011


The story of the most fabled political family in American history, told in a manner similar to The Godfather: a manipulative, egocentric father determined to live out his own ambitions through his sons, who in turn spent their lives dancing to his tune while at the same time trying to stand on their own. This is history through personality - the tangled relationships through which paint a picture of one of the most turbulent periods of the modern age. Viewers will be upstairs at the White House, not in the Cabinet Room. Through iconic events in history - the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil rights struggle, the mob connection - viewers will learn about the lesser known, yet critical personal stories. Written by History Channel Publicity

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of the most fabled political family in American history. See more »


Drama | History | Romance


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


JFK had Addison's disease, hence the pills he takes and the back issues. This is managed with hydrocortisone but if it is untreated you die. See more »


Throughout the mini-series, Robert, while serving as Attorney General, is addressed verbally as "General". Although Attorneys General are addressed as General, this is done only when they appear or are referred to in either a U.S. Federal Court or the U.S. Supreme Court. Outside of these courts, protocol dictates that the AG is addressed as either "Attorney General" or "Mr. Attorney General". See more »


Referenced in Maltin on Movies: Arthur (2011) See more »

User Reviews

One of the finest productions I've ever seen on television
10 April 2011 | by lauralmhsSee all my reviews

The Kennedys, the 8-hour mini-series that just aired on ReelzChannel, was one of the finest productions I have ever seen on television.

I have always said about the tumultuous and tragic story of the Kennedys that even a fiction writer could not have fabricated it. This series took a saga that we all are already familiar with - at least for the most part - and synthesized it into a gripping drama. Moreover, points are brought out in the story-line that are downright eye-opening. In particular, Joe Kennedy Sr. comes across as a real S.O.B., someone who was utterly ruthless and who would stop at nothing to achieve his ends, and if this story WERE fiction, it would make for an epic cautionary morality tale. In all fairness, I must say that some of the scenes were so shocking in an ethical sense, I had to take them with a grain of salt.

Watching this program, it certainly comes to the fore that the Kennedy administration was so very much more than "Camelot." For such an "innocent" time, JFK was dealing with domestic and global issues that would make any man turn gray overnight. Not only was this series entertaining, but it served as a condensed history lesson, touching as it did upon topics such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Berlin Wall, the civil rights movement, and the beginnings of the Vietnam War.

The acting here was nothing short of extraordinary. Greg Kinnear as the President was downright eerie to watch as he looked SO much like JFK. As for Katie Holmes as Jackie, I must say I have a new-found respect for her as an actress; she was perfection in this role. Barry Pepper in the role of Bobby Kennedy was an absolute revelation. And if Tom Wilkinson, who played Joe Kennedy Sr., does not win an award for his portrayal, it will be a travesty. The actresses who played Rose and Ethel were likewise excellent.

I am gratified that the assassination was handled with such tact. We did not need to see anything more graphic than we've already seen dozens if not hundreds of times.

My only complaint is that the legendary wit and charisma of JFK did not come across as strongly as I would have expected.

I was also left feeling utterly baffled as to why Ted Kennedy was completely absent from the story-line.

Kudos to the writers, to the make-up artists (who did an amazing, AMAZING job in making the actors almost indistinguishable from the real-life personages we know so well), the set designers who captured the period so accurately (right on down to the scene of Jackie smoking while pregnant with John Jr.; let's face it, we've learned a lot over the span of 50 years...), and most especially the actors who did such a superlative job with the look, accents and mannerisms of JFK, Jackie, Bobby and Joe Sr.

If The Kennedys doesn't sweep the Emmys, it will be a miscarriage of justice. Bravo to all involved in this magnificent production.

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

3 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Kennedys See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(8 parts)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color | Black and White (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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