Showtime to air Comey miniseries before the election after director — and Comey himself — speak out

James Comey
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A miniseries centered around former FBI Director James Comey is moving its air date up two months after complaints from the writer and director — and from Comey.

ViacomCBS on Wednesday announced it will debut its two-part miniseries The Comey Rule, which stars Jeff Daniels as Comey and Brendan Gleeson as President Trump, on Showtime prior to the 2020 presidential election. It was originally set to air at the end of November, but it will now air on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28.

Showtime cited "the ongoing fluctuations in production operations due to COVID-19" as the reason for this change of plans, according to The Washington Post. But this comes after The New York Times on Tuesday reported The Comey Rule's writer and director, Billy Ray, was unhappy about the decision not to air it before the election. In an email to the cast, Ray wrote that "we all were hoping to get this story in front of the American people months before the coming election" and that this was a "reasonable expectation" based on the production timeline. But at some point, for reasons he said were unclear to him, "all talk of our airing before the election was suddenly a 'non-starter.'"

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Comey in a statement to the Times had also criticized the November date, saying, "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."

The Comey Rule is based on A Higher Loyalty, the book Comey published after he was fired as FBI director by Trump. It will offer, the network says, a "virtual day-by-day account of the tempestuous relationship between Comey and Trump and the intense and chaotic first months of the Trump presidency — where allies became enemies, enemies became friends and truth depended on what side you were on."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.