It’s hard to imagine what sort of headspace any of us will be in by late November, since it depends on some pretty big factors, but one thing that seems hard to believe is that anyone will be particularly excited for a prestige drama about former FBI boss James Comey and Donald Trump. If Trump wins, nobody’s going to want a reminder of Comey’s completely ineffective feud and forgotten memoir. If Trump loses, we’ll finally have a reprieve from his tyranny and we won’t need a reminder of Comey’s completely ineffective feud and forgotten memoir. Before the election would be one thing, but after? It’s a weird choice.
That’s what Showtime will be offering, though, as Deadline is reporting that the premium cable network’s The Comey Rule—based on Comey’s memoir A Higher Loyalty—won’t be airing until after the election. To underline the weirdness: The timing of this premiere window (a specific date doesn’t seem to have been announced) is so crummy, so antithetical to the point of the thing, that Deadline says there will be “speculation” that the Trump administration “used its influence to push the series beyond the presidential election season.” Deadline doesn’t suggest that any such thing happened, but the timing is so weird that Deadline just assumes people will find this suspicious.
The two-part limited series will star Jeff Daniels (who reportedly made special arrangements in his own schedule to make sure this could come out close to the election) as Comey, with Brendan Gleeson playing Trump. The first half centers on Comey’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails “and their impact on Election Night 2016" (an impact that Comey exacerbated, whether he meant to or not), with the second half detailing the “intense and chaotic first months of the Trump presidency.” In addition to Daniels and Gleeson, the miniseries stars Holly Hunter, Michael Kelly, Scoot McNairy, and Jonathan Banks.