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Spotlight producer to really get unpleasant with Roger Ailes miniseries

Photo: Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty

Tom McCarthy, whose Spotlight delved into the massive cover-up of years of sexual abuse, and Jason Blum, whose The Purge concerned a dystopic America torn apart by fear and hatred, will stay comfortably within their wheelhouse by producing a TV miniseries on Fox News’ Roger Ailes. They’ve teamed up to develop the project with journalist Gabriel Sherman, whose dogged investigation of Ailes for both New York Magazine and in his 2014 book The Loudest Voice In The Room revealed that Ailes’ image—as a manipulative, misogynist architect of marketable doom, whose bellows stirred the idiot’s-fury whirlwind we have just begun to reap—wasn’t only for show. No, he also sexually harassed a bunch of his female employees, leading to Ailes’ being ousted from Fox in disgrace and a pile of $40 million.

Now that story of Ailes’ rise and sort-of-fall will be given the TV movie treatment it deserves, dramatizing real-life scenes of Ailes forcing himself on his coworkers that would have been deemed a tad on the nose for Lifetime. Sherman’s reporting will form the basis of the still-untitled series, meaning it will likely include everything from Ailes’ now-infamous assertion to Gretchen Carlson that they should sleep together to the 20 years he allegedly spent tormenting Fox booker Laurie Luhn, forcing her to strip and perform oral sex for him while referring to her as “Roger’s whore.” And this will all take place against the backdrop of Ailes doing the same thing to America.


No network partner has been announced yet, though The New York Times says it will be offered to a “select” number of channels—presumably the ones that can handle the profanity, sexual situations, and pervasive sense of despair necessary to telling Ailes’ tale. The producers reportedly declined to say whether one of the candidates would be Fox’s sister channel FX, though it would certainly slot in nicely next to American Crime Story.

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