'Killing Kennedy' a Ratings Record for National Geographic, Bill O'Reilly

Image: 'Killing Kennedy' a Ratings Record for National Geographic, Bill O'Reilly Fox News commentator and author Bill O'Reilly, left, and actor Rob Lowe.

Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 08:02 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Fox News' commentator Bill O'Reilly scored big for the National Geographic Channel again as the television adaption of his book "Killing Kennedy" set another record for the network Sunday.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Killing Kennedy," which starred actor Rob Lowe as the 35th president, drew nearly 3.4 million viewers Sunday going against Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and AMC megahit "The Walking Dead."

The 3.354 million is a small uptick from National Geographic previous record of 3.351 million from the adaptation of O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln," noted The Hollywood Reporter.

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National Geographic has already given a go to "Killing Jesus," O'Reilly's third in his "Killing" series. The network has also agreed to its first drama series "Act of Valor" after drawing 2.7 million viewers for its November 2012 special "SEAL Team Six."

"'Killing Kennedy' demonstrated once again that our constant efforts to expand the type of programming National Geographic Channel presents is paying off," network president Howard Owens said in a statement, according to E! News. "The discussion about this film became part of the national zeitgeist, and I specifically want to thank our partner and friend Rob Lowe, as well as the entire cast, for their tireless efforts to promote this film and make sure our audience knew about it."

National Geographic also claimed it got an online boost from the movie, telling E! News that #killingkennedy was the number one trending topic in the U.S. during the telecast while its website received 2.1 million page views.

The book and made-for-TV movie had the challenge dealing with a subject that has been the source of numerous books before it, an Oscar-winning motion picture in 1991's "JFK," and a national investigation in the Warren Commission.

The New York Times Janet Maslin wrote last October that the book moved to make "Killing Kennedy" more about Kennedy the person.

"The book also offers thumbnail accounts of the Cuban missile crisis, the civil rights movement and the escalating Vietnam War, but 'Killing Kennedy' is mostly about the man himself, with emphasis on his health, his marriage, his dealings with his attorney general brother, Bobby, and his love for his children," Maslin wrote in her book review. "Scintillating? No. But sneakily dramatic? Yes."

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