Russell Crowe to play former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes in Showtime series

Russell Crowe to play former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes in Showtime series

Academy Award–winning actor Russell Crowe has been tapped to play late Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in an upcoming Showtime limited series, according to the premium channel.

Crowe, 54, will star in the eight-episode series based on the 2014 book by then-New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman, "The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — and Divided a Country."

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The role will mark Crowe's first feature role in television.

David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime, said that having Crowe, who won an Oscar for Best Actor for “Gladiator,” play this role will help the series be “a defining story for this era.”   

“In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today,” Nevins said. “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.”

Ailes, one of the most influential media figures of recent decades, died in May 2017 at age 77. His death came just 10 months after his stunning departure from Fox News.

As its chairman and CEO, Ailes built Fox News into a juggernaut that dominated the cable news landscape.

Ailes had resigned from Fox in July 2016 just two weeks after then-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson in a lawsuit accused the chairman of making unwanted sexual advances, prompting an internal investigation that quickly led to his departure. 

Other prominent women also came forward to accuse Ailes of inappropriate behavior, including ex-Fox hosts Megyn Kelly, Alisyn Camerota and Laurie Dhue.

The network has since made several changes on the executive level in promoting more women to top positions, highlighted by Fox News veteran Suzanne Scott's ascension to CEO.

No announcement has been made on who would fill other roles for the series or when the series will be launched.