George Clooney, still searching for elusive Emmy, returns to TV with new Showtime series ‘The Department’

He’s received eight Oscar nominations – including the rare PAWD (separate bids as a producer, actor, writer and director) – and won twice: as supporting actor for “Syriana” (2006) and as a producer on Best Picture victor “Argo” (2013). But George Clooney has never taken home an Emmy statuette, unless you count his special Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2010 (which we don’t).

However, Clooney will now have another prime opportunity to be honored with the announcement that Showtime has given a straight-to-series order to the political thriller series “The Department,” with Clooney attached to direct and executive produce along with partner Grant Heslov through their Smokehouse Pictures banner. The show is being produced in partnership with MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios.

Based on the French series “Le Bureau des Legendes,” production is scheduled to launch later in 2023. The original show surrounds the daily life and missions within France’s Bureau of Legends, responsible for training and handling deep-cover agents on long-term missions in areas with French interests. Living under false identities for years, these agents’ missions are to identify and recruit good intelligence sources.

“‘The Department,’ based on the riveting and brilliant series ‘The Bureau,’ will follow in the great tradition of ‘Homeland,’ one of the most successful and brand-defining shows at Showtime,” said Chris McCarthy, President/CEO, Showtime and Paramount Media. “Just as ‘Homeland’ elevated global espionage to new heights, ‘The Department’ will take viewers even deeper into a world of intrigue and subterfuge with complicated characters who struggle with their own demons as they fight existential threats to the nation and the world.”

As for Clooney, who is not scheduled to perform in “The Department,” he has three Emmy nominations to his credit. Two are from his years as a drama series lead actor on “ER” (1995 and ’96). The third came in 2010 as a producer on the special “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief.” His regular role as Dr. Doug Ross on “ER” was of course Clooney’s big breakthrough after years as a journeyman performer. His credits included everything from a 17-episode recurring role on “The Facts of Life” (1985-87) guest spots on episodes of “Hunter,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Golden Girls,” “Roseanne,” “Sisters,” “Friends” and “Murphy Brown.”

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