Seth MacFarlane is taking a detour into a career in PR.
The multi-hyphenate has signed on to play former Fox News PR executive Brian Lewis in the limited series about the life of Roger Ailes, the late Fox News founder and CEO. Known for his pugnacious nature, Lewis was a top Ailes confidant until the two had a bad falling out and Lewis left the network under a cloud in July 2013.
Sienna Miller has also joined the project in the role of Ailes’ wife, former NBC News producer Elizabeth Ailes.
Simon McBurney is on board to play Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul and leader of the 21st Century Fox and News Corp. empire. Annabelle Wallis is set to play Laurie Luhn, a former Fox News booker who had a long and difficult relationship with Ailes.
Russell Crowe is set for the lead role as the TV producer-turned-political strategist-turned cable news titan. Naomi Watts will play former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes spurred his ouster in July 2016 and helped instigate the outpouring of allegations of harassment against powerful figures in media, politics and business.
MacFarlane has long been associated with the entertainment side of Fox through his work as creator and exec producer of the Fox animated hit “Family Guy.” He’s also the creator and star of Fox’s live-action sci-fi series “The Orville.” He’s repped by CAA, manager Joy Fehily and Jackoway Austen.
McBurney is a stage and screen vet who stars in the Amazon drama series “Carnival Row.” Wallis was seen opposite Tom Cruise last year in “The Mummy.”
Production on the untitled eight-episode limited series is set to begin in New York next month. Showtime is co-producing with Blumhouse Television. The series is based on “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” the 2014 Ailes biography by Gabriel Sherman. Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”) is exec producing with Jason Blum, Alex Metcalf, Marci Wiseman, Jeremy Gold and Liza Chasin.
(Pictured: Sienna Miller, Seth MacFarlane, Simon McBurney and Annabelle Wallis)