'The Comey Rule' Release Date Bumped Up To Air Before The 2020 Election

Last week, we got our first glimpse at the upcoming Showtime political drama miniseries The Comey Rule. Based on former FBI director James Comey's book A Higher Loyalty, the miniseries focuses on Russia's manipulation of the United States election process in 2016 and the investigation into the Trump presidency that followed after evidence pointed to collusion between his campaign higher-ups and Russian operatives.

Much of the drama in The Comey Rule comes from the contentious relationship between Comey (Jeff Daniels) and President Donald Trump (Brendan Gleeson), making it a prime piece of entertainment for the 2020 election season. But Showtime was planning on releasing the miniseries in late November, well after the election was over. However, it seems a passionate plea from director Billy Ray, and perhaps James Comey himself, has changed their mind, because it will now air before the election.

The New York Times got ahold of the e-mail Billy Ray sent to the cast and crew of the show. In the e-mail, he admits defeat, thinking that he wasn't able to sway the powers that be to release the miniseries before the 2020 election. Ray wrote:

"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.' 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! Yet here we are. I am deeply sorry that I didn't win this one."

This e-mail was sent on Monday, but since then, a Showtime spokesperson followed up with this update:

"We will be announcing several changes to our schedule, and The Comey Rule is most likely moving to air before the election."

Perhaps Showtime's decision to bump up the miniseries, which will air in two parts that are roughly two hours each, was motivated by a brief statement made by Comey himself after it was revealed The Comey Rule would air after the election. The former FBI director said:

"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."

While a specific release date hasn't been announced yet, Election Day is on November 3 this year, so I wouldn't be surprised if it aired in late October. The Comey Rule is meant to air on two consecutive nights, but exactly which nights it will air on has yet to be determined. As long as this airs before the election and pushes more headlines about how corrupt and terrible Donald J. Trump is as President of the United States of America, then we'll be happy to see it whenever.