Russell Crowe will play Fox News Channel founder Roger Ailes in Showtime's upcoming eight-episode limited series based on Gabriel Sherman's book The Loudest Voice in the Room as well as his additional reporting about Ailes and Fox News for New York magazine, IndieWire reported.
Sherman co-wrote the premiere episode with Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), who is the executive producer with Blumhouse's Jason Blum. Showtime and Blumhouse Television (Sharp Objects) are producing. Although the series doesn't have a title yet, it had previously been developed as Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes.
"In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today," said Showtime president/CEO David Nevins. "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."
Noting that Ailes and Fox News "irrevocably changed the conversation about the highest levels of government," Showtime said: "To understand the events that led to the rise of Donald Trump, one must understand Ailes. The upcoming limited series takes on that challenge, focusing 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 gave birth to Ailes's political career and the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end."