Russell Crowe will play disgraced FOX News founder Roger Ailes in an upcoming 8 part drama based on The Loudest Voice in the Room, by journalist Gabriel Sherman. Sherman co-wrote the first episode with Tom McCarthy (Spotlight, Win Win), who will co-executive produce.
In 2016, after Ailes resigned from FOX News amid allegations of sexual misconduct, he became an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign. He died in May 2017 of a subdural haematoma after a fall in his Florida bathroom, aged 77.
The as yet untitled series by Showtime marks Crowe’s first major US TV series and will screen in Australia on Stan.
In today’s politically charged media landscape, no figure looms larger, even after his passing, than Roger Ailes, moulding Fox News into a force that irrevocably changed the conversation about the highest levels of government. 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’ political career and the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end.
Told through multiple points of view, the limited series aims to shed light on the psychology that drives the political process from the top down. McCarthy’s deft handling of similarly complex, high-stakes storytelling in Spotlight earned him an Oscar for co-writing 2017’s Academy Award winner for best picture, plus an Oscar nomination for directing. For the primary source material, The Loudest Voice in the Room, Sherman interviewed more than 600 people.
The project is executive produced by McCarthy, Blum and Alex Metcalf, along with Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold for Blumhouse Television, which originally optioned the rights to Sherman’s book and brought the project to Showtime and is managing physical production.