Two months after The Kennedys aired on cable network ReelzChannel, the controversial miniseries has received 10 Emmy nominations.
ReelzChannel-based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and owned by Minneapolis-based Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc.-scooped up the multimillion-dollar series in February after it was dropped by the History channel and passed over by numerous cable networks due to concerns about the historical accuracy of the script.
ReelzChannel-whose tagline is "TV About Movies"-reportedly paid $7 million for The Kennedys and poured an estimated $10 million into promoting it.
Among the nominations for the miniseries are "Outstanding Miniseries or a Movie" and "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie" for both Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper.
"We're thrilled for the producers, cast, and crew of this tremendous miniseries, and we're proud that our position as an independent network gave us the freedom to make this fascinating story about the Kennedy family available to viewers nationwide," ReelzChannel CEO Stan E. Hubbard said in a statement.
The Kennedys, which aired in the United States over an eight-day period in April, brought in more than 2 million viewers per episode, according to The Kennedys' production company Muse Entertainment.
Since then, it has been licensed by more than 130 territories around the world. It broke audience records in Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, and Ireland, Muse said.
Even before The Kennedys aired, the eight-part miniseries spurred interest in ReelzChannel. After acquiring The Kennedys and promoting it through various paid media outlets, the network nearly doubled its weekly unique viewers-those who spend at least six minutes on it-from 3 million in January to about 5.5 million in early March. Meanwhile, the amount of time viewers spent watching the channel was also up about 35 percent in early March.
ReelzChannel, which is 100 percent ad-supported, went on the air in 2006 but still loses about $10 million annually. Because of ReelzChannel's substantial investment in The Kennedys and the marketing of it, Stan Hubbard said in April that he expects a similar situation this year. But he also indicated that he hopes to double the network's $15 million annual revenue by the end of 2011. He acknowledged that $30 million is ambitious but said that it's "definitely deliverable."
Hubbard Broadcasting, founded in 1923, is a family-owned and family-operated business that's one of the last independent broadcasting companies in the United States.