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Showtime’s ‘Fellow Travelers’ will revisit the McCarthy era

Jonathan Bailey (pictured in March at a "Bridgerton" premiere in London) will star in “Fellow Travelers.”Lia Toby/Getty Images/file

Showtime is putting together a promising eight-episode limited series based on the nightmare that was the fear-driven McCarthy era. Called “Fellow Travelers,” it’s based on the 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon, and starting production in Toronto.

Jonathan Bailey from “Bridgerton” stars as an idealistic, religious young man who is eager to crusade against Communism. Matt Bomer plays the more experienced State Department official who hires him. They have an affair, just as Joe McCarthy (played by Chris Bauer) and the deeply closeted Roy Cohn (Will Brill) declare war on gays — the so-called Lavender Scare.

Allison Williams from “Girls” and “Get Out” is on board, as the daughter of a senator played by Linus Roach. “Philadelphia” writer Ron Nyswaner is adapting the book for the screen.


Allison Williams will also appear in the eight-episode limited series.Mike Windle/Getty Images/file

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him @MatthewGilbert.