It looks like one of the biggest-ever media scandals is about to get a series adaptation, and this could be one of the more wild stories we’ve seen in some time. Deadline is reporting that Thank You & Goodbye is currently in the works for BBC through their Rise Films production company and there are buyers in the United States lined up to broadcast the series. It will detail the phone-hacking scandal that embroiled and ultimately took down Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World publication in 2011. Considering the scope and size of the scandal, and just how big a deal this was at the time, Thank You & Goodbye could be one of the better offerings when it finally hits the small screen.
Thank You & Goodbye is set to tell the story about the pervasive practice by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World staff and writers to hack phones and voicemails of various British government officials as well as celebrities. This was done through the use of private investigators and took place over many, many years for the publication. It was considered one of the ways writers would get scoops for the Rupert Murdoch rag, and obviously highly illegal. Things started to come to light in 2007 when folks associated with the paper began to resign and one pleaded guilty to interception of personal communication of others.
But things really reached a head in 2009 and 2010 when more information came out about the size and scope of the Rupert Murdoch organization and just how much they were tapping into other’s phones. Finally, in 2011 amidst ever-growing scandals and more investigators coming out saying they had been involved with the illegal practice, Rupert Murdoch was forced to shutter the doors of News of the World. Advertising dollars had completely dried up because of the negative press (ironic) and the publication itself was no longer commercially viable. According to Deadline, more than 100 arrests were made in the wake of the scandal. Thank You & Goodbye is a reference to the headline on the front page of the final issue. News of the World had an unbelievable 168-year run up until that point, having first been published in 1843. It ended with Rupert Murdoch’s reign.
Thank You & Goodbye will be penned by Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson who had previously written The Salisbury Poisonings, a critically-acclaimed series also based on true events in England. This was about the poisoning of British agents back in 2018. Additionally, the series will be directed by Saul Dibb who also worked on The Salisbury Poisonings. His other work includes Dublin Murders and Journey’s End.
Of course, News of the World was only a sliver of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. His News Corp. company owns a slew of publications and outlets including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Sun, The Times, published Harper Collins, and of course Fox News. He has a net worth up and above $21 billion dollars, making him one of the richest (reported) people in the world. While the News of the World scandal became major headlines, it did little to dent the media empire he’s created.