Showtime’s The Loudest Voice in the Room adds Miller, MacFarlane & more
Showtime has announced that Golden Globe nominee Sienna Miller (Layer Cake), Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Simon McBurney (The Theory of Everything) and Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders) have joined the cast of the network’s upcoming eight-episode limited series about Fox News founder Roger Ailes.
Based on extensive reporting by Gabriel Sherman for his bestselling book, The Loudest Voice in the Room, the series stars Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) in the title role and Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts as Gretchen Carlson. Crowe also serves as an executive producer on the series. Emmy nominee Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale) will direct the first two episodes. Production is set to begin next month in New York.
Miller will portray former NBC news producer Elizabeth “Beth” Ailes, who married Roger, 22 years her senior, in 1998, shortly after the founding of Fox News. Following their marriage, Beth devoted herself to raising their son Zachary as well as serving as the editor of the Putnam County News & Recorder newspaper in their home of Garrison, NY. Beth was a steadfast champion of Roger until his death in 2017 and, to this day, refutes any charge that her husband was less than innocent.
MacFarlane will take on the role of Brian Lewis, Fox News’ public relations chief for over 17 years and Ailes’ closest confidante and supporter. Lewis spent his career promoting and protecting Ailes until the media machine turned against Lewis and ended his career.
McBurney will play the role of legendary media magnate, Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch built his father’s Australian newspaper company into a worldwide media empire. But his single greatest media move might have been hiring Roger Ailes to run Fox News, who, against all odds, created a conservative cable news network from the ground up and built it into a multi-billion dollar profit machine.
Wallis will play Laurie Luhn, a volunteer who, under Ailes’ mentorship, rose to head of booking at Fox News. Giving into Ailes’ growing demands, she began a long abusive relationship with him that impacted the rest of her life.
In today’s politically charged media landscape, no figure looms larger, even after his passing, than Roger Ailes, molding Fox News into a force that irrevocably changed the conversation about the highest levels of government. To understand the events that led to the rise of Donald Trump, one must understand Ailes. The upcoming limited series takes on that challenge, focusing primarily on the past decade in which Ailes arguably became the Republican Party’s de facto leader, while also touching on defining events in Ailes’ life, including an initial meeting with Richard Nixon on the set of The Mike Douglas Show that gave birth to Ailes’ political career and including the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end.
Told through multiple points of view, the limited series aims to shed light on the psychology that drives the political process from the top down. Sherman co-wrote the initial episode of the limited series with Oscar winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight). For the primary source material, The Loudest Voice in the Room, Sherman interviewed more than 600 people.
The project is a co-production from Showtime and independent studio Blumhouse Television (Sharp Objects, The Normal Heart). In addition to Crowe, McCarthy will executive produce with Emmy winner Jason Blum and Alex Metcalf, as well as Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold for Blumhouse Television and Liza Chasin (Darkest Hour) of 3dot Productions.
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