WASHINGTON, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Geographic Channel (@NatGeoChannel) today announced that Emmy-award winning actor Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) has been cast in the iconic role of President John F. Kennedy in the upcoming two-hour original factual drama Killing Kennedy by Scott Free Productions. Ginnifer Goodwin (@ginnygoodwin) will join Lowe in the White House as much-loved first lady and American royalty, Jacqueline Kennedy. Rounding out the dynamic cast is Michelle Trachtenberg (@RealMichelleT) in her first Russian-speaking role as Marina Oswald. Additional casting to be announced.
Based on the best-selling book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, the film chronicles one of the most shocking events in American history, 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.
"We are thrilled to be working with Rob Lowe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Michelle Trachtenberg, three gifted artists whom have responded to this timely, authentic and entertaining material," said Howard T. Owens, president of the National Geographic Channels. "With Killing Kennedy, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, National Geographic Channel continues to bring daring, culturally significant television events to our growing global audience."
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.
National Geographic Channel, Scott Free Productions and Bill O'Reilly are also collaborating for the second time. In February, National Geographic Channel aired the Scott Free production of O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the most-watched program in the channel's history. The three have already announced plans to team for a third time on O'Reilly's next book, Killing Jesus.
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 critically acclaimed feature films "Prom Night" and "The Stepfather." Celebrated 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.
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 — one a member of one of the United States' most wealthy and powerful families, the other a disillusioned former Marine and Marxist — 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.
About Rob Lowe:
Rob Lowe has established himself as one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, having first made his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders." He went on to star in other popular dramas such as "St. Elmo's Fire," "About Last Night" and "Bad Influence," as well as the blockbuster comedies "Wayne's World" and "Tommy Boy." After "Wayne's World," Lowe re-teamed with Mike Myers in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." Lowe's movie credits also include "A View from the Top," "Class," "The Hotel New Hampshire," "Oxford Blues," "Youngblood," "Square Dance," "Masquerade" and "Mulholland Falls."
Additionally, Lowe starred as Sam Seaborn on the NBC drama "The West Wing" for four seasons, from 1999 to 2003. During that time, the show won a record four consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Drama. His performance earned him an Emmy nomination, as well as two Golden Globe nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was nominated three times for the Screen Actors Guild Award, winning twice.
In May 2010, Lowe joined the cast of NBC's "Parks and Recreation," playing the role of Chris Traeger, an auditor who seeks to dig the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Ind., out of its financial abyss. His recent television work also includes a three-episode appearance on Showtime's "Californication," in which Lowe played unpredictable megawatt movie star Eddie Nero. Lowe will next be seen in HBO's "Behind the Candelabra," starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, and directed by Steven Soderbergh.
About Ginnifer Goodwin:
Hailing from Memphis, Tenn., Ginnifer Goodwin has quickly found a home in Hollywood. With effusive talent, she shined in the Oscar-nominated biopic "Walk the Line" as Johnny Cash's first wife, opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. She was appeared in HBO's critically acclaimed series "Big Love" opposite Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevigny, and produced by Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions. She presently stars as Snow White in the hit ABC drama "Once Upon A Time."
Goodwin's breakthrough role came in her first feature film, Mike Newell's "Mona Lisa Smile," in which she co-starred with Julia Roberts and Kirsten Dunst. Soon after, she starred in Robert Luketic's romantic comedy "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!" with Josh Duhamel, Kate Bosworth and Topher Grace. Her other film work includes "Something Borrowed" opposite Kate Hudson and based on the best-selling novel by Emily Giffin; "Ramona and Beezus"; Tom Ford's directorial debut, "A Single Man," alongside Julianne Moore and Colin Firth; "He's Just Not That Into You" with Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Anniston; Jonathan Kasdan's "In the Land of Women"; and the independent films "Day Zero" with Chris Klein and Elijah Wood, and "Birds of America" with Matthew Perry and Hilary Swank.
About Michelle Trachtenberg:
Michelle Trachtenberg's acting career spans more than 25 years, whose earliest works include "All My Children", "The Adventures of Pete and Pete" and starring roles in Paramount's "Harriet The Spy," Disney's "Ice Princess" and as the role of 'Penny' in Disney's "Inspector Gadget."
Trachtenberg forayed into television with a memorable role in the Joss Whedon series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as Dawn Summers, younger sister to Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy, staying until the series end. During her run on "Buffy," Trachtenberg was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work as the host of the Discovery Network's show "Truth or Scare." After "Buffy," she went on to star in the Dreamwork's comedy "EuroTrip" and opposite Zac Efron in New Line's hit movie "17 Again," playing the role of his daughter. Throughout this time, Trachtenberg held recurring roles on HBO's critically acclaimed "Six Feet Under" and on Showtime's "Weeds." Trachtenberg also starred in several memorable independent films, including "Mysterious Skin," "Against the Current" and Beautiful Ohio."
Trachtenberg returned to regular television work when she joined "Gossip Girl" as the brooding Georgina Sparks. During this time, she joined forces with "Gossip Girl" producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and their production banner Fake Empire. The trio sold Trachtenberg's original pilot treatment to Warner Bros Television and the CW network, thus making Trachtenberg a member of the WGA. In addition to starring in the soon-to-be-released graphic novel "The Scribbler," Trachtenberg has several writing and producing projects in development.
About Scott Free Productions
Scott Free Productions was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production vehicle of acclaimed film directors and brothers Ridley and Tony Scott. Scott Free Television produces the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated, Peabody acclaimed drama "The Good Wife," which will commence its fifth season this fall on CBS. Currently in production for Scott Free include "Klondike," Discovery Channel's first ever scripted miniseries starring Sam Shepard, Tim Roth, Richard Madden, and Abbie Cornish; and, for Showtime, "The Vatican," with Ridley Scott at the helm of his first-ever television pilot, a modern-day political thriller from Oscar® nominated writer Paul Attanasio, starring Kyle Chandler, Anna Friel, and Matthew Goode.
Currently in development with AMC is "The Terror" from writer and co-executive producer David Kajganich, In February of this year, AMC and Scott Free Productions announced the project in development "The Terror," based on the 2007 best-selling novel by Dan Simmons, set in 1847, the crew of a Royal Naval expedition to find the Arctic's treacherous Northwest Passage discover instead a monstrous predator – a cunning and vicious Gothic horror that stalks the ship in a desperate game of survival; the "Untitled Cahill/Nicotero/Scott Free Project" from executive producer and writer Jason Cahill ("Fringe", "Sopranos") and executive producer and Emmy Award winning prosthetic makeup artist Greg Nicotero ("The Walking Dead"), a one-hour futuristic, dystopian, sci-fi saga; and "Raiders" from executive producer and writer Evan Wright ('Generation Kill) a one-hour WWII drama about a rogue U.S. Navy commander who leads an unconventional warfare unit into the heart of Africa on a mission that will bend the arc of history.
In the non-fiction realm, Scott Free is producing an untitled verité documentary series that follows people in the last days of their lives for National Geographic Channel, and the series "Crimes of the Century" for CNN, which will closely analyze the major news events of our times. Scott Free recently produced the ratings hit "Killing Lincoln," also for the National Geographic Channel, and the epic Emmy®-winning documentary "Gettysburg" for the History Channel.
Scott Free has offices in Los Angeles and London in conjunction with RSA Films, one of the world's largest and most successful commercial production houses.
About National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
SOURCE National Geographic Channel