George Clooney and Bennett Miller Developing Drama Series About the 1990s Movie Business

     December 11, 2014


George Clooney did plenty of work in the world of television before breaking out in a big way with NBC’s ER in the mid 1990s, and now it appears that he’s keen on spearheading a TV series of his own.  Vulture reports that Clooney has teamed up with Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller and Rescue Me creator Peter Tolan to develop a one-hour comedic drama series that will “explore the movie business of the early 1990s.”  That is one hell of a creative trio behind-the-scenes, and the early 1990s is a fruitful period to explore.  It marked a turning point for the film business, as the studio-driven commercial projects of the late 1980s were threatened by the booming independent film movement with folks like Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh leading the charge.  More after the jump.

reservoir-dogs-quentin-tarantino-harvey-keitelPer Vulture, the currently untitled TV project is described as a dark comedy “looking at the movie business through the eyes of the studio executives running it.”  Miller is onboard to direct the pilot, which Tolan will write and Clooney will executive produce alongside his producing partner Grant Heslov.  Tolan has experience telling behind-the-scenes stories, as he served as head writer on HBO’s iconic The Larry Sanders Show.

Apparently the project is drawing high interest from a number of networks (obviously), with both premium and basic cable networks hearing the pitch as well as at least one streaming service.  The question now is which one will land the series and how big of a financial commitment they’re willing to make.  Clooney’s buddy Steven Soderbergh has curried favor at Cinemax with The Knick, but a show as high-profile as this seems destined for the HBO treatment—assuming the network nabs it, that is.  HBO has a number of incredibly promising projects in development, including Utopia which has David Fincher directing every episode.  But HBO is also picky.  They don’t simply order a pilot to series because it has big stars and a name director, as evidenced by Noah Baumbach‘s The Corrections.  Though the network is in need of more dramas as True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and The Newsroom all came to an end this year.

This potential series is exciting for many reasons, not the least of which that it looks to be Miller’s next project.  The director is three for three in my book having helmed Capote, Moneyball, and Foxcatcher to brilliant results, and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the story of 1990s Hollywood.