Showtime has officially moved the premiere date for its miniseries about former FBI Director James Comey and his tumultuous relationship with President Donald Trump to prior to the presidential election.
The move comes after backlash from the cast and crew, expressed in a letter written by series writer and director Billy Ray. In the letter, Ray said he was told that the decision to air the two episodes after the election was “made at the very highest levels of Viacom.”
“We all were hoping to get this story in front of the American people months before the coming election. And that was a reasonable expectation considering that we’d been given a mandate by the network to do whatever was necessary to deliver by May 15,” Ray wrote.
His and the cast’s wishes have now been granted, as the series will air over two consecutive nights on Sept. 27 and 28. News of the change comes only one day after Ray’s letter emerged in the New York Times.
“The Comey Rule” is a two-part, four hour series based on Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty.” It stars Jeff Daniels as Comey with Brendan Gleeson playing Trump.
The change was announced alongside a host of other schedule shifts the network has been forced into due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of them being that Ethan Hawke series “The Good Lord Bird” has had its premiere date shifted back two months to Oct. 4. Based on the National Book Award-winning novel by James McBride, the series is told from the point of view of Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson), a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown’s motley family of abolitionist soldiers and eventually finds himself participating in the famous 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry.
Showtime has also announced the pick up of a six-episode, hour-long drama called “We Hunt Together,” which hails from BBC Studios. Starring Eve Myles, Babou Ceesay, Hermione Corfield and Dipo Ola, the show is described as a gripping twist on a classic cat-and-mouse story, exploring the intoxication of sexual attraction and the dangerous power of emotional manipulation. Written by Gaby Hull and directed by Carl Tibbetts, “We Hunt Together” will premiere August 9 and started airing in the U.K. in late May.
In addition, Showtime is making the following schedule changes to its non-fiction slate:
“The Comedy Store,” comedian-turned-director Mike Binder’s five-part documentary series that chronicles the evolution of comedy from within the walls of the iconic L.A. club, will premiere Oct. 4.
“The Reagans,” director Matt Tyrnauer’s four-part documentary series that explores the many surprisingly unexamined aspects of the Reagan White House, and how Nancy Reagan’s paper-doll image was at odds with the power she ultimately wielded throughout her husband’s presidency, will premiere Nov. 15.
“Belushi,” director R.J. Cutler’s feature documentary examining the too-short life of the once-in-a-generation talent John Belushi, who captured the hearts and funny bones of devoted audiences, will premiere Nov. 22.