'Law & Order: SVU' Sets Cast for Roger Ailes-Inspired Episode

Christopher McDonald will play a network boss accused of rape by a female news anchor (Bonnie Somerville).
David Levenson/Getty Images; Barry King/Getty Images
Roger Ailes

Just as Fox News finds itself in the midst of another round of sexual harassment controversy, Law & Order: SVU is firming up its own take on the cable news network.

Christopher McDonald (Thelma and Louise), Bonnie Somerville (Friends) and Mark Moses (Mad Men) are set to headline an April episode of the NBC procedural seemingly inspired by the Roger Ailes scandal that led to the longtime chief's departure.

The episode, titled "The Newsroom," is described as follows: "Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Barba (Raúl Esparza) ask witnesses to put their jobs on the line after a news anchor (Somerville) makes an on-air disclosure of rape against her boss." McDonald will play Somerville's character's boss while Moses will play her co-anchor.

The episode will air on Wednesday, April 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Other guest stars for the episode include returning guest Peter Gallagher and Peyton List.

Somerville's recent credits include CBS' Code Black. McDonald's credits include recurring roles on The Good Wife and Ballers. Moses' recent work includes The Last Ship and Homeland.

News of the episode first broke in January.

Longtime Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson famously sued Ailes and Fox News last year, claiming that she was fired after rejecting sexual advances from Ailes. As allegations from other females at the cable news network surfaced, Ailes eventually stepped down from his post, while Carlson settled out of court.

Multiple Ailes-inspired projects have popped up since, most notably a limited series from Blumhouse Productions, Tom McCarthy and Gabriel Sherman, one of the key journalists reporting on the Ailes scandal, and a scripted film from the writers behind The Big Short.

On Monday, Fox News once again found itself in hot water following a report in The New York Times that alleges the network had paid out around $13 million in settlements to women who had accused longtime anchor Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment. Former O'Reilly Factor guest Wendy Walsh came forward about her own past experience with O'Reilly, whom she claimed came onto her and invited her to his hotel room. Walsh called for an independent investigation, and advertisers like Mercedes-Benz are beginning to drop their advertisements from his show.

This is just the latest SVU episode to pull from the headlines this season. The second episode of season 18 was loosely inspired by Making a Murderer, and the NBC drama has a Donald Trump-inspired episode in the can that has been delayed since late October.

April 4, 6:15 a.m.: Updated with additional episode information.

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