Ex-Fox News chief Ailes' sex scandal makes way to U.S. television

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The story of the rise and fall of former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes is coming to U.S. television in what producers on Tuesday called a "provocative" limited series.

Cable channel Showtime and Blumhouse Television said they will co-produce the series "Secure and Hold: The Last Days Of Roger Ailes," based on reporting by New York magazine journalist Gabriel Sherman on the Ailes sexual harassment scandal.

Ailes, 76, resigned last year from the Twenty-First Century Fox unit after a sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. He was hit on Monday by another lawsuit filed by a Democratic political consultant and Fox News contributor who said she was denied a permanent job after she rebuffed Ailes' advances.

The TV series will be co-written and executive produced by Tom McCarthy, the director of 2016 Oscar best picture winner "Spotlight" about sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Showtime and Blumhouse Television said in a statement.

No casting or air date was announced for the series, which could take two years to reach TV screens.

The announcement comes at difficult time for Fox News, whose best-known anchor Bill O'Reilly is also at the center of sexual harassment claims.

BMW, Mercedez-Benz and Hyundai Motor Corp have all pulled their advertising from "The O'Reilly Factor" after the New York Times reported that Fox and O’Reilly paid five women to settle claims that he sexually harassed them.

Fox News has declined to comment on the latest O'Reilly allegations and the suspension of some advertising on his show.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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