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The Comey Rule "likely" to air before the election after complaints from James Comey and Billy Ray

  • Billy Ray, who adapted and directed the miniseries based on former FBI director Comey's book A Higher Loyalty, wrote a letter apologizing to his cast and crew over last week's announcement that the four-hour Showtime miniseries was scheduled to air weeks after the presidential election in November. Former FBI director Comey also criticized the decision, saying in a statement: “I don’t understand why CBS would sit on a movie about important current events, and I hope the American people get the chance to see it soon." On Tuesday, Showtime indicated in an email to The New York Times that the miniseries will be moved up before the election. "We will be announcing several changes to our schedule, and The Comey Rule is most likely moving to air before the election,” Showtime said. According to Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr., Daniels, who plays Comey, and Brendan Gleeson, who plays President Trump, signed on for The Comey Rule expecting it to air before the election. In fact, Daniels left the Aaron Sorkin Broadway play To Kill A Mockingbird to play Comey and has made it known he'll likely not promote the miniseries if it airs after the election, according to Fleming. In his letter to the cast and crew, Ray wrote: "I know what a disappointment this is to you. It is for me too – because while I’ve made movies about my country before, this was the first time I ever made a movie for my country. 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. But at some point in March or April, that mandate changed. Word started drifting back to me that a decision about our airdate had been made at the very highest levels of Viacom: all talk of our airing before the election was suddenly a “non-starter.” I and my fellow producers asked for a chance to plead our case on the matter, but we were told that even the discussion itself was a “non-starter.” (So was the idea of our getting the movie back from the network so as to seek another partner to air it.) Why? I don’t know. The health of a media company depends on attracting audiences – and our movie, aired in August of an election year, would have been very big news. Can you imagine the billboards? Comey Vs. Trump! A cast loaded with Emmy winners! I am deeply sorry that I didn’t win this one. You trusted me with your time and your talent, and you deserved better than this. Your performances were spectacular. Please know that I won’t give up; and that regardless of airdate I am thrilled at the prospect of showing the world your wonderful work."

    TOPICS: The Comey Rule, Showtime, Billy Ray, Brendan Gleeson, James Comey, Jeff Daniels, 2020 Presidential Election, In Development, Trump Presidency