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The Kennedys and the Pope profiled in two new CNN Original Series

A still from CNN’s Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History

Power wrought by sheer force, rumored and real illegal acts and a cunning strategy to win at all costs — the path to wealth and power are outlined in two new CNN Original Series.

American Dynasties: The Kennedys and Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History start on Sunday, March 11, and are at times eerily similar stories.

Up first is American Dynasties: The Kennedys,  a six-part CNN Original Series narrated by actor and devout Catholic Martin Sheen.

America’s ‘First Family’ were thrust into a powerful leadership position thanks in part to the rumored cunning and pre-Great Depression Stock Market manipulations and Prohibition-era workings of patriarch, Joseph “Joe” Kennedy.

CNN promises viewers a more in-depth glance at the lives of Joseph and Rose Kennedy and their children, and how they shaped American life.

The CNN series will reveal the personal relationships that Joe Kennedy used to further the careers of his sons Jack, Robert and Ted. The Kennedy dynasty saw them all reach the highest positions of American government, with Jack becoming president.

It will be interesting to see how the series deals with the institulionalizing and lobotomizing of daughter Rosemary, considered one of Joe Kennedy’s lowest decision points in his life.

The series covers the challenging moments of the JFK administration too, the Cuban Missile Crisis to the higher points, the breakthrough civil rights legislation.

The first episode “The Power of Wealth” sees Joseph “Joe” Kennedy’s political ambition passes first to his son Joe Jr. and then to reluctant second son, Jack.

The second episode, “The Path to Power” (March 18) sees John F. Kennedy’s charismatic bid to reach the White House despite his Catholic faith, a sticking point for many Protestant Americans.

The third episode is “Brothers in Arms” (March 25) and sees the mission accomplished as John F. Kennedy is sworn in as the youngest ever elected American president, and how brother and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy helps him through tough geopolitical issues.

Following the Kennedy series is Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History, a six-part CNN Original Series narrated by Liam Neeson. CNN takes viewers inside the cryptic and confusing world of the Vatican and shows the popes throughout the ages. The docuseries explores how 12 apostles created the billion plus Catholics today.

The premiere “The Rise of the Pope” examines how the papacy spread Catholicism in Europe and beyond. The series continues as it examines the unchecked corruption some of the less savory earlier popes wielded in political worlds particularly throughout Europe.

American Dynasties: The Kennedys and Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History, premiering Sunday, March 11, at 9pm and 10pm ET/PT respectively.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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