With its beginnings in the so-called McCarthy period of the 1950s, Fellow Travelers is both a political thriller and an epic love tale that spans decades. Based on Thomas Mallon’s novel Fellow Travelers, Fellow Travelers was adapted for television by Ron Nyswamer (Philadelphia, Homeland) and stars Matt Bomer (a political operative) and Jonathan Bailey (a young idealist from Bridgerton).
The series follows the couple from their initial meeting in the 1960s through the drug-fueled hedonism of the 1970s and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, all against the backdrop of US Senator Joseph McCarthy and his chief counsel, Roy Cohn, declaring that homosexuality is sexual deviancy. Learn more about the Fellow Travelers series airing on Showtime and Paramount Plus right here.
Fellow Travelers Release Date
There will be two premiere dates for “Fellow Travelers,” one for streaming and one for traditional broadcast. The premiere airs on Paramount+ on October 27, 2023. The air date is set for October 29, 2023, at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. Each of the eight episodes will be published weekly.
Where to watch Fellow Travelers?
Showtime and Paramount+ with Showtime will host the streaming premiere, while Showtime’s cable channel will screen the program two days later. New episodes will be available for streaming on Fridays and on television at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on Sundays.
Fellow Travelers Cast
- Matt Bomer as Hawkins Fuller
- Jonathan Bailey as Tim Laughlin
- Jelani Alladin as Marcus Hooks
- Linus Roache as Senator Wesley Smith
- Noah J. Ricketts as Frankie Hines
- Allison Williams as Lucy Smith
- Will Brill as Roy Cohn
- Chris Bauer as Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
- Erin Neufer as Mary Johnson
- Matt Visser as David Schine
- Christine Horne as Jean Kerr
- David Tomlinson as Eddie Kofler
Fellow Travelers Plot
In the drama Fellow Travelers, Matt Bomer plays the wealthy Hawkins Fuller, and Jonathan Bailey plays the idealistic young Tim Laughlin, both of whom are very religious. They begin dating, but the war on “subversives and sexual deviants” recently announced by Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn puts their happiness in jeopardy. Over the following four decades, we see how their paths intersect with those of three other characters: Marcus (Jelani Alladin), Lucy (Allison Williams), and Frankie (Noah J. Ricketts).
At a Washington fundraiser, powerful staffer Hawkins Fuller (American Horror Story’s Matt Bomer) meets ambitious politician Tim Laughlin (Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey), and the chemistry between them is immediate. The trouble is that it’s 1952, and Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy (Chris Bauer, For All Mankind) is about to declare his plan to root out subversives and sexual deviants’ from the United States government.
Hawk and Tim’s love story is a dramatic tale spanning four tumultuous decades, from the Vietnam War to the AIDS epidemic, and back again. Hawk’s employer, Senator Wesley Smith (Linus Roache of My Policeman), has a daughter named Lucy (Allison Williams of Girls), so Hawk marries Lucy to keep his cover.
The series’ non-linear plot extends from the McCarthy period to the Aids epidemic of the 1980s, which Nyswaner acknowledges led to some production difficulties at times.
Fellow Travelers Trailer
At the beginning of the teaser, Hawk is detained on the pretense that he poses a “risk to national security” and is thus being questioned about his political beliefs and personal life. In addition to questions concerning his Communist Party membership, he is also questioned whether or not he has ever engaged in sexually improper behavior with a male and is given a lie detector test. He insists there is no same-sex relationship in the photo, despite his claims of a “special lady” being there.
The video then cuts to brief snippets depicting the growing animosity towards LGBTQ+ individuals and the need to find out communists, before finally introducing us to Tim and the relationship between the two. There is danger around every corner for their kind of relationship. A relationship develops between the two despite the upheaval, and the trailer gives us a taste of the severe steps the government tries to suppress homosexuality.
Fellow Travelers Crew
Robbie Rogers (All American, My Policeman) and Dee Johnson star in and executive produce Fellow Travelers with Matt Bomer and Nyswaner. The pilot and episode two are both executive-produced and directed by Daniel Minahan (Halston, American Crime Story: Versace). Fremantle and Paramount+ are collaborating on the project.
Fellow Travelers Episodes
There are eight episodes in Season 1 of Fellow Travelers.
- Episode 1: “You’re Wonderful”
- Episode 2: “Bulletproof”
- Episode 3: “Hit Me”
- Episode 4: “Your Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire”
- Episode 5: “Promise You Won’t Write”
- Episode 6: “Beyond Measure”
- Episode 7: “White Nights”
- Episode 8: “Make It Easy”