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March 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

ReelzChannel has acknowledged that advertisers are keeping their distance from The Kennedys, the miniseries it acquired from the History Channel after that channel said in January that it was not “fit for the History brand.” Mediaweek (which accounted for the reluctance in its lede by remarking that “advertisers are notorious wusses”) reported that, just three weeks before the eight-parter is due to debut on April 3, ReelzChannel has yet to sign up a single major sponsor for the series. Only nine advertisers who buy a portfolio of spots on the network based on its total ratings (gross ratings points or GRP) have agreed to allow their ads to air during the broadcasts, according to the trade publication. The series had been denounced as slander and fantasy by members of the Kennedy family and others close to the slain president, including former aide Theodore Sorensen who said shortly before his death that not a single scene in which he appears ever took place. (He castigated the series as “sloppy invention.”) In an interview with Mediaweek, ReelzChannel CEO Stan Hubbard said, “Advertisers are scared to death of this. They told us point-blank, ‘It’s too politically hot.”