Although I’ve been hoping for a TV movie revolving around Rob Lowe’s “Behind the Candelabra” character Dr. Startz (wouldn’t you watch that?), it seems “The West Wing” star has signed on for something that could be entertaining in its own right. National Geographic Channel today announced that the Emmy-winner has been cast in the iconic role of President John F. Kennedy in the upcoming two-hour original “Killing Kennedy.” Ginnifer Goodwin will join Lowe in the White House as FLOTUS Jacqueline Kennedy, while Michelle Trachtenberg will take on her first Russian-speaking role as Marina Oswald. If you don’t know who Marina Oswald is, please go to the back of the class.
Based on the book by Fox News commentator Bill O”Reilly and Martin Dugard, the film chronicles the events leading up to Kennedy’s assasination, following two men from very different backgrounds on a collision course with fate. “Killing Kennedy” will premiere on the National Geographic Channel later this year in the United States and globally in 171 countries and 38 languages, timed to the 50th anniversary of the assassination.
“Killing Kennedy” begins in 1959, at major turning points for both the future President and his assassin. John F. Kennedy is in Washington, D.C., announcing his presidential candidacy, while Lee Harvey Oswald finds himself in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, renouncing his U.S. citizenship. These two events start both men on a cataclysmic track that would alter the course of history. Throughout we see their highs and lows, culminating in not one but two shocking deaths that stunned the nation.
This is the National Geographic Channel”s second collaboration with Lowe this year. In April, he narrated the network”s six-part miniseries “The “80s: The Decade That Made Us,” which was watched by more than a million people over its three-night run.
Production on “Killing Kennedy” will begin in June in Richmond, Va., under director Nelson McCormick, who has worked on award-winning television series including “The West Wing,” “ER,” “Southland,” “The Good Wife” and “The Closer.” He also directed the feature films “Prom Night” and “The Stepfather.” Playwright and screenwriter Kelly Masterson has written the teleplay. Executive producing for Scott Free Productions are David Zucker and Mary Lisio. For National Geographic Channels, executive producers are Howard T. Owens, Noel Siegel, Charlie Parsons, Richard E. Wells and Teri Weinberg.