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Russell Crowe to play Fox News founder Roger Ailes in new TV mini-series

Russell Crowe in A Good Year

Story by Jack Foley

RUSSELL Crowe is to play TV mogul Roger Ailes in a new, eight-part TV series.

The Fox News founder is often viewed as a controversial figure, with many citing his rise to power as something that paved the way for Donald Trump to do the same.

The mini-series will be based on Gabriel Sherman’s extensive reporting and best-selling book, The Loudest Voice in the Room, which was compiled following more than 600 interviews.

Sherman co-wrote the pilot alongside Tom McCarthy, who is no stranger to exploring journalism on screen after winning an Oscar for Spotlight.

The series will be executive produced by Emmy winner Jason Blum and is a co-production between Showtime and the latter’s Blumhouse Television.

In a statement on Monday, Showtime CEO David Nevins 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 [from the Orson Welles’ classic, Citizen 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.”

The as-yet untitled Ailes mini-series was first announced in October 2016, when Blumhouse launched its TV studio.

Showtime describes the series as follows: “In today’s politically charged media landscape, no figure looms larger, even after his passing, than Roger Ailes, molding 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.”

Ailes died in May 2017 at the age of 77.