Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The most investigated crime in world history — the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 — gets yet a new theory when ReelzChannel premieres the original investigative doc JFK: The Smoking Gun on Nov. 3 precisely 19 days before the 50th anniversary. While JFK conspiracy fatigue long ago set in, it provided undeniably fascinating fodder during a TCA panel that comes to a genuinely fascinating conclusion: There was a second shooter during that fateful day in Dallas, and it wasn’t an assassin. It was a Secret Service agent named George Hickey, who was riding in the car in the motorcade directly behind Kennedy’s vehicle and whose automatic weapon accidentally discharged. This is the theory, presented in painstaking scientific detail, that the doc will lay out. On the panel, an author named Bonar Menninger and a retired Australian detective Colin McLaren presented their argument that the bullet that exploded into Kennedy’s brain came not from Oswald’s rifle but from Hickey’s in the chaos of the moment. “We believe it wasn’t intentional but a tragic accident,” McLaren said, indicating that the evidence was long covered up at the highest levels of United States intelligence as well as by JFK’s brother Robert. “The lone gunman theory is nonsense and always has been.” Part of the reason the doc is proceeding now, besides the 50th anniversary, is the fact that Hickey died two years ago and can no longer bring suit. But the airing of an undeniable hot potato seems to tie into ReelzChannel’s self-appointed mission of being The JFK Network. The first evidence of that came two years ago when it acquired the miniseries The Kennedys, which went on to win four Emmys.
That panel — hosted, like the ones that preceded it, by entertainment reporter Sam Rubin — made for a decidedly jarring contrast with the sessions that preceded it promoting the reality sitcoms The Capones and Hollywood Hillbillies. The Capones featured a bickering, working-class, stereotypically Italian clan involved in running an Italian restaurant in Chicago called Capone’s Restaurant & Pizzeria. The centerpiece of the discussion was a debate over whether or not the family had a legitimate genealogical claim to being blood descendants to the real Al Capone.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Cable’s ReelzChannel announced three new original programs this morning at TCA — one JFK-themed documentary and a pair of unscripted series, along with a second season of the workplace docuseries Beverly Hills Pawn — premiering Nov. 6. The new originals include:
– JFK: The Smoking Gun, an investigative doc premiering Nov. 3 that’s based on the forensic work of veteran police detective Colin McLaren and his cold-case look into the Kennedy assassination in advance of its 50th anniversary. It purports to finally “solve” the case and reveal the identity of a second shooter in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald.
– The Capones (premiering Nov, 9), following the goings-on at a family-run restaurant called Capone’s Restaurtant and Pizzeria headed by Dom Capone.
– Hollywood Hillbillies (premiering January 2014), chronicling the antics of Internet superstars Michael “The Angry Ginger,” his “Mema” and Aunt Dee Dee in their move from rural Georgia to Hollywood.
ReelzChannel is going for The Big Picture with Lauren Sanchez. The network has ordered 26 episodes of the weekly talk show that will cover the world of entertainment. The Big Picture is set to debut on June 20. Sanchez …
ITV Studios Global Entertainment will launch crime drama Shetland in Cannes next week. The ITV Studios-produced show has just been renewed by BBC One for a second season. The series is expanding from its original two parts to become a six-parter the next time around. Douglas Henshall plays detective Jimmy Perez who returns to his home in Scotland to lead a murder investigation. The series is based on the novels by Ann Cleeves.
Keshet International, the folks behind the original Israeli format for Homeland, will offer scripted and non-scripted programming at Mip, also expanding into third-party fare for the first time. Included on the slate are Mother’s Day, which has gone to pilot in the U.S. for CBS starring Debra Messing; The A Word, a drama about a five-year-old autistic boy; and The Gordin Cell, which NBC is developing as MICE. New unscripted programming includes trivia game show Sure Or Insure and docu-reality reverse makeover show Remember Me?. Keshet’s third party titles including drama-noir Light & Truth; romantic drama Devout Love; sitcom Fox Force; and comedy drama Honey Africa.
ReelzChannel this morning put out a press release confirming our story about the network’s plans to team with The Kennedys co-producer Muse Entertainment for a follow-up miniseries based on Randy Taraborrelli’s bestselling book After Camelot, which tells the personal history of the Kennedy family from 1968 to the present. Muse will produce the miniseries and handle international distribution. Keri Selig of Intuition Prods, who brought the project to Reelz, will serve as an executive producer. I hear Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have been tapped to write the mini, which, like The Kennedys, is envisioned as an eight-hour event. “The Kennedy family is truly a part of the fabric of America and we’re thrilled to once again work with our partners at Muse Entertainment to bring our viewers this fascinating and continuing story,” said Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of ReelzChannel.
The network just picked up the Ken Follett miniseries World Without End and now is adding another mini, a docu-series and a scripted series to the lineup beginning in the fall. The newly announced miniseries, Barabbas, is a four-parter that follows the life of the man who in the Bible was spared because of the crucifixion of Christ. The docu-series Beverly Hills Pawn, from Asylum Entertainment, is set at a luxury shop where Hollywood’s elite go for cash. The original series Bomb Girls, meanwhile, stars Meg Tilly and takes place during World War II when women risked their lives in a munitions factory in support of the war. It’s from Muse Entertainment, the producer of the ReelzChannel miniseries The Kennedys. The network already announced the second season of Steven Seagal’s True Justice and the spy thriller XIII, which premieres June 29. Here’s the descriptions of the new shows:
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA, May 21, 2012 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced today that REELZCHANNEL will carry the 2012 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards which will once again be produced by Spike Jones, Jr. The announcement was made by Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum. The awards will be taped on Saturday, September 15th and a two-hour, edited version will air on Saturday, September 22nd at 8:00 PM ET/PT. This marks the 18th year that Jones, Jr. will produce the awards and the second time REELZCHANNEL will air the ceremony.
ReelzChannel has picked up a second season of 13 episodes of Steven Seagal’s crimefighting drama series True Justice. True Justice became Reelz’s first original scripted drama series when the cable network last year acquired the already …