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David Simon announces fictional miniseries about the rise of fascism and antisemitism in America

Pretty goddamn depressing that we need to include the word “fictional” in that headline.
Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP (Getty Images)

Philip Roth died earlier this year, leaving behind a legacy of novels that are likely to be celebrated for generations to come, and a whole bunch of film adaptations that, well, not so much. (Looking at you, The Human Stain.) Now, Deadline reports that HBO and David Simon will be giving one of Roth’s better-known 21st century works the TV miniseries treatment instead, adapting The Plot Against America, a fictional work about the rise of fascist political leaders and antisemitic fervor in the U.S., for no reason, really, why, why do you ask?

Like many of Roth’s book, Plot is both fictional and semi-autobiographical, taking place in a universe where noted Hitler buddy Charles Lindbergh beats FDR for the presidential race in 1940 by running on a platform of non-interference, mixed with a little “Dang those Jews.” Told from the perspective of a young Roth, the book tracks increasing anti-Jewish attitudes in America as the president encourages support for fascist regimes, opposition to the media, and a whole host of other oppressive policies, which, thank god, are safely confined between the covers of a fictional book.


Simon—who’s currently working on the final season of The Deuce—will showrun the six-part miniseries alongside his old The Wire pal, Ed Burns.

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