VARIETY: Showtime Lands Miniseries on Fox News Founder Roger Ailes
Showtime is wading into the world of Fox News as scandal continues to buffet the cable channel.
The premium cabler has landed the rights to “Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes,” a look at the Fox News founder’s rise and fall. The limited series will draw on reporting from New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who had several major scoops related to the sexual harassment scandal that led to Ailes’ ouster last summer. Ailes was accused by hosts, such as Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, of overseeing a culture of harassment and of trying to use his position to exact sexual favors from employees.
The deal comes as Fox News is facing another crisis. Last weekend, the New York Times published an in-depth look at Bill O’Reilly’s tangled history of harassment claims. The article found that O’Reilly and Fox News had reached some $13 million in settlements after five women accused the cable news host of inappropriate behavior. Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai have pulled their ads after the report hit.
The Ailes project will be co-produced by Showtime and Blumhouse Television. It could make it to the air within the next two years.
Tom McCarthy, the director and writer of “Win Win” and the Oscar-winning “Spotlight,” will write and executive produce the series. Sherman will also serve as an executive producer and writer.
The project is also being written and co-executive produced by John Harrington Bland and Jennifer Stahl. Blumhouse announced Tuesday that it had brought in ITV Studios as an investor on a new independent TV studio. The company is also planning a series based on its horror franchise, “The Purge.”