Showtime has made it official.
It is giving the green light to an eight-episode TV series that will focus on the sordid sexual allegations at the Fox News Channel, landing Oscar-winner Russell Crowe, star of “Gladiator” and “Noah,” to play the role of network chief Roger Ailes.
Among those thrilled with the news is former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who settled her claims of sexual harassment with the network for a reported $20 million.
“So excited for real depiction about what happened to me at #Foxnews almost 2 years since I filed lawsuit,” Carlson said Monday on Twitter.
In response to questions from her fans, Carlson also said she does not know who will be playing the part of herself, but she’s hoping that it will be “anyone good.”
One of Carlson’s followers on Twitter, Carin Robinson, noted: That is going to be SOME acting. No way being hit on by Russell Crowe is being HARRASSED.”
There has also been no word on which actors may be tapped to portray other high-profile faces at Fox News during the Ailes era, such as Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly.
No premiere date has been set for the series, but some media are hearing 2019 is likely. Ailes died in 2017, not long after he was ousted from Fox over the allegations.
Showtime’s official description for the show states:
“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.”
David Nevins, president and CEO, Showtime Networks, said: “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.”
According to Deadline, Sherman at New York Magazine reported “Carlson had secretly recorded conversations where she alleged that Ailes had harassed her. The story charged that Ailes had created a ‘culture of fear at Fox’ and ‘was known for monitoring employee emails and phone conversations and hiring private investigators.’ But with FNC’s financial success ‘Ailes became untouchable.'”
Carlson recently made headlines for changes she’s making at the Miss America contest, doing away with the swimsuit competition as well as making wearing an evening gown non-mandatory.
“There are a lot of young girls who don’t want to show off their body in that way, myself included,” Carlson told Variety. “We’re still advocating a healthy lifestyle, but we just don’t want to judge on it anymore.”
“So for the young girl at home who doesn’t want to be judged that way, now she can participate,” Carlson said. “And number two, most American women don’t have a perfect 10 body and we don’t want them to not be included in our program as a result of that.”
Another well-known personality at Fox News, Andrea Tantaros, had her lawsuit claiming surveillance and sexual harassment at the network thrown out by a federal judge last month.
Variety reported that Tantaros claimed “Roger Ailes used hidden cameras to spy on her and other Fox employees while they changed clothes. She also claimed that the network hacked her computer, spied on her, and had her followed in retaliation for complaints of pervasive sexual harassment.”
But Judge George Daniels did not agree with her claims.
“Plaintiff’s amended complaint is based primarily on speculation and conjecture,” Daniels wrote. “Moreover, she fails to adequately make out the basic elements of her claims.”