How Many Episodes Is 'The Kennedys – After Camelot'? The Reelz Miniseries Explores Another Chapter In Their Lives
It's been more than 50 years since John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. However, our country's fascination with the legendary political dynasty hasn't ceased in the years after that national tragedy, which is certainly evidenced by the premiere of the new miniseries The Kennedys - After Camelot. But since this famous family is full of history, it begs the question: How many episodes is The Kennedys - After Camelot, and how will it cover all of it?
The Kennedys - After Camelot will be a four-hour-long miniseries that will air over the course of two Sundays on Reelz with the first two hours premiering on Sunday, April 2 at 9 p.m. ET and the final two hours bowing on Sunday, April 9 at 9 p.m. ET, the network announced in January. What's also of note about the episodes is that Katie Holmes, who will reprise her The Kennedys miniseries role as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, directed the third hour of the miniseries, according to Deadline. The rest of the episodes were directed by Jon Cassar, who was at the helm of all eight episodes of The Kennedys.
This new miniseries picks up where The Kennedys left off when it aired on Reelz in 2011, with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. It looks like The Kennedys - After Camelot will start around that time. "In the series premiere, Jackie and Ted face new responsibilities moving past two assassinations," the description for the first episode reads, according to TV Guide. The second episode's log lines say, "Chappaquiddick damage control continues as Ted eyes the Presidency. Also: JFK Jr. struggles with expectations while Jackie holds the family together."
So as you can see, The Kennedys - After Camelot will explore the modern era of the family and the biggest events and scandals that shook it, as the trailer for the miniseries shows. One of those was the Chappaquiddick incident in which Senator Ted Kennedy, who will be played by Matthew Perry in the miniseries, fled the scene of a car crash off Martha's Vineyard in Masschusetts that left his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne dead on July 19, 1969. He later pled guilty to leaving the scene of a crime and received a two-month suspended jail sentence. But, as we'll see in The Kennedys-After Camelot, the Chappaquiddick incident would long haunt Ted Kennedy and his career, especially during his unsuccessful attempt at scoring the democratic nomination in the 1980 presidential primary, which went to incumbent President Jimmy Carter, the closest he ever came to achieving his executive branch ambitions.
The miniseries will also chronicle Jackie Kennedy's life after the death of her first husband, which will include her marriage to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who will be played by Alexander Siddig, in 1968 until his death in 1975. It will also show her raising her children, Caroline (Ava Preston) and John Jr. (Brett Donahue), who will particularly struggle with living up to his late father's legacy, as the preview clip shows. But eventually, after his mother's death in 1994, he'll start his own glamorous and high-profile life with wife Carolyn Bessette, but the tragic end to their lives when their private plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 1999 also seems to be teased in the trailer for the miniseries with the couple walking on an airport runway.
The Kennedys - After Camelot will also feature other famous relatives, including family matriarch Rose Kennedy (Diana Hardcastle), RFK's widow Ethel Kennedy (Kristin Booth), and Ted Kennedy's first wife Joan Kennedy (Kristen Hager).
But if you're interested in getting an even more comprehensive look at what might appear in The Kennedys - After Camelot before its premiere, you might want to check out the book on which this miniseries is based, After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family—1968 to the Present by J. Randy Taraborrelli. In the book, the author chronicles the Kennedys' struggles and successes during that time period, including "the challenges Bobby's children faced as they grew into adulthood; Eunice and Sargent Shriver's remarkable philanthropic work; the sudden death of JFK JR; and the stoicism and grace of his sister Caroline," the summary of the book says. "[Taraborrelli] also brings into clear focus the complex and intriguing story of Ted Kennedy and shows how he influenced the sensibilities of the next generation and challenged them to uphold the Kennedy name."
How close to the present day The Kennedys - After Camelot will cover is still unclear until the miniseries airs. The book on which it's based was published in 2012, so that gives us some idea. But with members of this American dynasty still grabbing headlines, making waves, and pushing for progress today, their story is far from over once this miniseries' end credits roll.