George Clooney to Direct Showtime Political Thriller Series ‘The Department’

Showtime has given a straight-to-series order to the political thriller series “The Department,” with George Clooney attached to direct.

Clooney and Grant Heslov will also serve as executive producers via Smokehouse Pictures. The show is based on the French series “Le Bureau des Legendes.” Production is slated to start later this year.

“‘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 and CEO of 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.”

Per the official logline, the original show centers on “the daily life and missions of agents within France’s principal external security service. It focuses on the ‘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.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with George & Grant on this amazing project,” said David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios. “Paramount+/Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios has been an incredible home to so many of our projects, and we are excited to once again work alongside Chris McCarthy, Keith Cox, Nina Diaz and their incredible teams.”

“Le Bureau Des Legendes” was created by Eric Rochant. It originally debuted in 2015 and has aired five seasons to date. The show is a Canal+ Creation Originale series produced by Alex Berger and Rochant of TOP – The Originals Productions and Pascal Breton of Federation Studios.

“The Department” will be executive produced by Clooney and Heslov as well as Keith Cox and Nina L. Diaz of MTV Entertainment Studios. David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle, David Hutkin and Bob Yari of 101 Studios also executive produce along with Berger for The Originals Productions. Ashley Stern and Breton for Federation Studios/Federation Entertainment of America also executive produce. MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios produce.

“We are delighted to extend ‘The Bureau’s’ DNA through ‘The Department’ for Showtime with our friends at MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios,” said Berger, president and executive producer at The Originals Productions. “The Originals Productions (TOP), Federation and Paramount are taking our franchise to the next level, making a new high-stake international espionage show set today in a very complex geopolitical environment.”

Added Guillaume Pommier, co-head of distribution at Federation: “We couldn’t dream of a better partner home than Showtime to adapt ‘The Bureau.’ They share with us the passion, the vision and the ambition for this amazing show, combined with their strong premium global network which will bring ‘The Department’ to the world.”

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