Good Night, and Good Luck is getting the TV treatment at AMC.
George Clooney and his Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov brought the project to the basic cable network for development. Under AMC’s script-to-series development model, a writers’ room has been opened to develop a serialized version of the movie that was co-written by Clooney and Heslov that starred and was directed by the former. While Good Night, and Good Luck is currently in its early stages, AMC is eyeing it as a six-episode series that will be produced in-house by AMC Studios.
Jonathan Glatzer, whose credits include AMC’s own Better Call Saul and HBO’s Succession, is set to serve as showrunner and exec produce alongside the film’s Clooney and Heslov, with the latter set to direct the pilot should the drama move beyond the development stage. The film’s Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner and Haley Jones for 2929 Productions and Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite for Participant are also attached as exec producers.
“AMC is known for intriguing, deep-rooted characters that leap off the screen and into the cultural zeitgeist. Sy Steingartner fits right in with AMC’s icons, and we are excited to develop the character and series,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “We’re huge fans of Jonathan’s expert storytelling gifts, George and Grant’s producing prowess, Grant’s directing skills, and the vigorous talents of Mark, Todd and Jeff, and we’re elated to work with all in this new endeavor.”
Starring Clooney, David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr. Frank Langella, Tate Donovan and Ray Wise, the movie explores themes including media responsibility and takes its name from the expression that famed newsman Edward R. Murrow used when he signed off the air. The movie was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture, director and actor (for Strathairn).
Here’s how AMC describes the potential series: Good Night, and Good Luck showrunner Jonathan Glatzer has found his inspiration in the newsmen and women who worked alongside Edward R. Murrow amid a post-war climate of fear and hysteria. The series follows Sy Steingartner, a young cameraman for Murrow’s See It Now, who is forced to juggle his admiration for Murrow with his own ambition. With the CBS brass pushing an anti-Communist Loyalty Oath on Murrow and his staff, Sy has an opportunity to rise straight to the top, but only by betraying his mentor in the process. With wit and keen observation, the series confronts how we respond to chaos and the values that pull us through.
“As a massive fan of the movie, I didn’t want to copy it, or just do a facsimile of it. So, we’ve expanded the world to show how the division and hysteria of the times seeped into every aspect of daily life,” said Glatzer. “I suppose it’s more of an origin story of where we are today.”
Produced on a budget of $7 million, Good Night, and Good Luck grossed nearly $55 million at the worldwide box office. The film currently is certified fresh with a 93 percent score among critics and 83 percent rating among moviegoers on Rotten Tomatoes.
“We are exceedingly proud of the Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck film, and its themes remain frighteningly relevant today, as new threats to democracy arise and trust in the press continues to erode,” said Participant CEO David Linde. “We are proud to work with AMC, Smokehouse and 2929 to expand on the world of the film in this thrilling new series.”
The TV adaptation arrives as AMC is at a turning point after the conclusion of Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul and Emmy darling Killing Eve. The cable network is also in the midst of wrapping the flagship series in its Walking Dead franchise, with several other new spinoffs also in the works.
“Good Night, and Good Luck and the pressures faced by the men and women of the Murrow newsroom are more timely now than ever,” said Todd Wagner, CEO of 2929 Entertainment. “We are thrilled to reteam with our partners George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Participant to bring Jonathan Glatzer’s vision of Murrow to new audiences. AMC’s long history of character-driven storytelling make this the ideal collaboration for the new series adaptation.”