My friends, we truly are living in a golden age of television. Programming these days is often better than anything playing in cinemas. Once considered almost the end—or truly just the beginning—of a Hollywood heavyweight’s career, any negative stigma that might have once existed about slumming it in television is gone. Long gone. A-List celebs routinely devote years of their lives to headlining weekly shows. Many cross mediums, appearing both in television and film in the same year. And we have some exciting news on leading men poised to return to the small screen.
George Clooney, who rose to national-stardom as Dr. Doug Ross in NBC’s long lived primetime hospital drama, “ER,” hopes to return with an hour-long comedy-drama about the movie business, seen from the eyes of executives managing it in the 1990s. Though the show hasn’t yet been picked up yet, it has some solid players involved. In addition to Clooney (though, mightn’t that be enough?), Peter Tolan and Bennett Miller are also attached. Tolan, known for creating the Denis Leary vehicle, “Rescue Me,” and writing “Analyze This” and ‘That‘ (among many other things) will write the pilot. Miller, just coming off of “Foxcatcher,” and whose short but impressive resume also includes “Moneyball” and “Capote,” will direct. Stay tuned for updates as to if/when/where the series gets picked up.
In slightly more definite news, Starz is developing a Dakotas-based crime drama the surrounds fracking. The much-contested method for extracting natural gas from the Earth has become an ever contentious environmental issue, and the possibilities for a weekly show about it seem exciting and limitless (and, for those in fracking communities, perhaps too close to home). The series, currently titled “Black Gold,” is the brainchild of author Benjamin Percy. Percy’s a busy man these days, in the midst of developing “Red Moon” for Fox TV and is working on a film adaptation of “The Wildling.” “The Spectacular Now” director James Ponsoldt will helm the pilot of “Black Gold,” and that sounds pretty good to us.