Russell Crowe is headlining his first US television series, and in doing so he is playing one of the most noteworthy but controversial men in media: Roger Ailes. The Fox News founder was at the center of controversy long before the sexual harassment scandals that led to his ouster — he started up a media organization that offered up a specific point of view, one that over the years has become increasingly divisive and separate from many other news organizations. We’re going to avoid diving too far into politics here (CarterMatt likes to keep things more on the focus of television here and in general as an escape from politics), but regardless of whatever you think about Fox News, it’s an institution that in 2018 is hard to ignore.
Per Deadline, Crowe is going to play Ailes in an upcoming eight-episode limited series for Showtime, produced by the network alongside Blumhouse Television. The series will be based on the book The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman alongside some of his reporting on Ailes for New York Magazine. Sherman also co-wrote the first episode alongside Spotlight writer Tom McCarthy.
In a statement, Showtime president / CEO David Nevins had the following to say about the series:
“In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today … We’ve seen this phenomenon depicted on screen as far back as the story of Charles Foster Kane, and it finds contemporary embodiment in the rise and fall of Roger Ailes. With Russell Crowe in the lead role, this limited series promises to be a defining story for this era.”
This is an ambitious project, and while Crowe on board is an enormous get, we also do wonder who the audience for this series is going to be? Viewers who don’t watch Fox News may not be interested in a series that reminds them of the subject, especially in this era where the news organization is fairly inescapable. Meanwhile, viewers who do watch Fox News may find the project untrustworthy largely because it airs on a network without their particular point of view. We’re certainly curious how the ratings will pan out for this one.
What do you think about the idea of a Roger Ailes limited series at Showtime? Be sure to share right now in the comments.
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