TV Critic’s Corner

Limited series become more popular — and political

Russell Crowe portrayed Roger Ailes in Showtime’s limited series “The Loudest Voice.”
JoJo Whilden/Showtime via AP
Russell Crowe portrayed Roger Ailes in Showtime’s limited series “The Loudest Voice.”

Scripted limited TV series about real-life public events are becoming increasingly popular. I’m not talking about the murdering-nanny-type stuff that shows up on Lifetime, created to troll viewers as they exploit tabloid news stories. I’m talking about the politically charged ones that re-create history while attempting to add perspective and deepen character motivation.

Because living through all this stuff just isn’t dramatic enough?!

Recently, we saw “The Loudest Voice,” Showtime’s look into the rise and fall of Roger Ailes and the rise and higher rise of his Fox News. It was a well-done bit of media history, with a commanding performance by Russell Crowe. We’ve also recently seen a number of fine limited series about high-profile and still-relevant events of recent decades, including “When They See Us,” “Chernobyl,” and “American Crime Story” takes on the murder of Gianni Versace and the O.J. Simpson trial.


Another political limited series is on the way, based on James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.” It, too, will feature a star-studded cast: Jeff Daniels as Comey, Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump, Holly Hunter as Sally Yates, and Peter Coyote as Robert Mueller. The adaptation, written and directed by Billy Ray, will go into production next month, and it will air either on CBS All Access or Showtime.

And Jay Roach — whose Fox News movie “Bombshell” is due by the end of the year — is currently attached to Michael Wolff’s bestseller “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” No casting has been announced yet, but I’m betting it will generate a lot of interest.