George Clooney Could Be Returning to TV
George Clooney is planning a return to TV. The actor, who made a name for himself on the small screen before becoming a full-fledged movie star, is reportedly shopping a dramedy series that will take a closer look at the film industry.
According to Vulture, Clooney has teamed up with director Bennett Miller, who helmed Moneyball and this year’s acclaimed drama Foxcatcher, and Peter Tolan, the creator of FX’s Rescue Me, for a new TV project. The one-hour dark comedy will reportedly explore the movie business during the early 1990s. Though more specific details regarding the potential series are still unavailable, Vulture reports that the story will be told from the perspective of the studio executives.
It’s unclear if the show will take direct inspiration from Clooney’s own experiences in the business, but the star and longtime producing partner Grant Heslov, whose joint Smokehouse Pictures banner signed an overall deal with Sony Television last summer, will reportedly serve as co-executive producers. Tolan will also serve as an executive producer, as well as pen the script. Miller is on board to direct the pilot.
There has been no shortage of television series that give viewers a look into the inner workings of Hollywood. As it happens, both Clooney and Tolan have previous experience working on similarly themed shows. Tolan served as co-head writer on the iconic HBO series The Larry Sanders Show. Meanwhile, Clooney teamed with Heslov and Stephen Soderbergh to produce the 2005 HBO series Unscripted, which followed actors as they tried to make it in the industry.
No network has committed to the project yet, but given the big names attached to the series, it’s hard to believe it won’t eventually get picked up. According to Vulture, Clooney and Tolan have already begun pitching the idea to network execs, and unsurprisingly, several have already expressed strong interest in the show. It remains to be seen where it will find a home and what kind of commitment it will receive. Sony Television has reportedly already had meetings with basic networks, premium cable channels, and at least one streaming service.
Clooney is far from the only A-list big movie star to sign on to a TV series in recent days, both in a producing capacity and otherwise. His longtime friends Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are also teaming up behind the camera in order to develop a spy drama series for SyFy, as revealed in October.
Reese Witherspoon, who had a hand in producing this year’s blockbuster Gone Girl and the just-released Inherent Vice, is also working with Nicole Kidman to produce and star in a small-screen adaptation of Liana Moriarty’s bestselling novel Big Little Lies. Tom Hardy is also producing, as well as starring in, an upcoming FX drama called Taboo. Meanwhile, even more big names like Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Colin Farrell, and Rachel McAdams have recently signed on to star in a television series.
This isn’t the only TV gig Clooney currently has lined up. The actor recently filmed a cameo for Downton Abbey’s special Christmas episode, set to air on December 19. Clooney has plenty of big-screen projects in the works, too. He’s starring in Tomorrowland, due out in 2015, and is also set to appear as part the ensemble cast in the Coen brothers’ upcoming comedy Hail, Caesar!, out in 2016.