Good Night, And Good Luck, the 2005 historical drama film that was directed by and starred George Clooney, is being adapted into a television series. AMC Networks is developing the show and has opened a writers’ room as part of its scripts-to-series model, according to Deadline.
Jonathan Glatzer, who has worked as a scribe and producer on such television shows as AMC’s Better Call Saul and HBO’s Succession, will lead the writers’ room and serve as the showrunner on the upcoming project.
Good Night, And Good Luck is one of three projects that’s a part of AMC Networks’ latest group of scripts-to-series. The network has also opened writers’ rooms for Seconds, a radical reimagining of the cult classic with a female lead at its center. AMC has also opened a room for the psychological horror story The Devil In Silver, which is envisioned as the first installment in a potential anthology franchise.
The company’s model opens the writers’ rooms to develop prospective shows, including generating multiple scripts, for straight-to-series consideration. The two projects that AMC commissioned writers’ rooms for last year, Invitation to a Bonfire and Demascus, both went to series.
The black-and-white movie version of Good Night, and Good Luck chronicled the story of the battle between CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, played by David Strathairn in an Oscar-nominated role, and U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy over the latter’s anti-Communist actions. Besides Clooney and Strathairn, the film also starred Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, Tate Donovan and Ray Wise.
The television adaptation, which could air on AMC or its sister streamer AMC+, will be an origin story of the conflict focused on the newsmen and women who worked alongside Murrow amid a post-World War climate of fear and hysteria. It will follow Sy Steingartner, a young cameraman for Murrow’s See It Now, who is forced to juggle his admiration for the newsman 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 show confronts how people respond to chaos and the values that pull them through.
The show, which will feature six episodes if it goes to series, will be produced by AMC Studios with Clooney and his Smokehouse Pictures partner, Grant Heslov, who brought the project to the basic cable network for development. Participant and 2929 Productions are also serving as producers on the show. The project will be produced in-house by AMC Studios.
Smokehouse Pictures, Participant and 2929 Productions also produced the movie. Clooney and Heslov wrote the film together.
Produced on a budget of $7 million, the movie version of Good Night, and Good Luck grossed nearly $55 million at the worldwide box office. Besides Best Actor, the film went on to be nominated for five other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
Glatzer will executive produce the series with Clooney, Heslov and Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner and Haley Jones for 2929 Productions and Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite for Participant. Rebecca Arzoian is serving as a co-executive producer for Smokehouse Pictures. Heslov will direct the television show’s first episode.
“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.”
“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,” added 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.”
“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.”
“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 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.”
The television adaptation arrives as AMC is at a turning point after the conclusion of its Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Call Saul, and its Emmy Award-winning show, 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.