PRESS TOUR: 'No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' shut down; 'Ethel' Kennedy doc coming to HBO

Wednesday, 01 August 2012 06:52 PM Written by 

Read more TV news and views posts from the TCA press tour at the Tuned In Journal index page.

ethel03BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Last summer HBO executives said they were deciding on whether to proceed with TV movies based on HBO's short-lived, 2008 series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."

This afternoon HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo told me HBO has decided not to move forward with those movies; producers may shop the project to other networks.

But HBO will debut the documentary "Ethel" on Oct. 18. It's about Ethel Kennedy, the 84-year-old widow of Robert Kennedy (pictured, above), and made by her daughter, Rory Kennedy.

Read more about it after the jump. ...

Rory Kennedy said she was reluctant to make the film "Ethel" was convinced to do it by HBO documentary chief Sheila Nevins.

"I know it's not a comfortable space to be in but I guess if she's willing to do this, then I should, too," Rory Kennedy said. "It was an amazing experience for me to really sit down -- we don't really sit down in our family and talk about things in this way -- and ask questions and document stories and experiences my mother's had. I felt like in the process of it I was doing something important, relevant and valuable."

Nevins said Ethel Kennedy hasn't given an interview before today for 20 years; Ethel Kennedy's response to a question about her quiet strength was quite moving.

"It's uncomfortable to talk about but I'd say my faith had a lot to do with being able to get through everything," Ethel Kennedy said. "When we lost Bobby I would wake up in the morning and think, oh, he's OK, he's in heaven and he's with Jack and lots of my brothers and sisters and my parents so it made it very easy to get through the day thinking he was OK."

Ethel Kennedy was asked if she indeed played matchmaker between grandson Conor and singer Taylor Swift, as reported by some publications. 

"We should be so lucky," Ethel said of the prospect of Swift marrying into the Kennedy clan. "The part of my involvement [is] certainly not [true]."

"You can just leave it at that," Rory said to her mother.

"Rory went to a concert with her two little girls; that’s what started it all," Ethel said.

"That’s how we first met Taylor Swift and she's a great friend of all of ours," Rory Kennedy said. "We love her."

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.