Russell Crowe to Star as Fox News Founder Roger Ailes in Showtime Mini-Series
Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe will play Fox News founder and chairman Roger Ailes in an upcoming miniseries for Showtime, the network announced on Monday.
The series will run for eight episodes and is based on the reporting by journalist and Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman, who wrote “The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — and Divided a Country.”
“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,” said David Nevins, Showtime’s CEO, in a statement referencing the fictional main character in Citizen Kane.
“To understand the events that led to the rise of Donald Trump, one must understand Ailes,” the network also explained in their announcement of the upcoming series. Ailes was widely credited as helping Trump gain credibility as a political figure during the 2016 presidential campaign by featuring Trump on Fox’s programs.
The upcoming limited series will focus primarily on the past decade in which Ailes arguably became the Republican Party’s de facto leader, while flashing back to defining events in Ailes’ life, including an initial meeting with Richard Nixon on the set of “The Mike Douglas Show” that ignited Ailes’ political career and the sexual harassment allegations that led to his resignation at Fox News in 2016.
Told through multiple points of view, the limited series will aim to shed light on the psychology that drives the political process from all angles.
Ailes died last year at the age of 77, from an accidental head injury complicated by hemophilia.
Tom McCarthy, the director of Spotlight, will executive produce the upcoming Showtime limited series with Jason Blum, who produced Get Out.