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

The show is based on the acclaimed French drama series “The Bureau”

George Clooney at "The Tender Bar" Premiere, Oct 2021
Getty Images

George Clooney will direct and executive produce a political thriller series for Showtime called “The Department,” which has been given a straight-to-series order by the network. Clooney and Grant Heslov will executive produce through their Smokehouse Pictures with MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios set to produce.

The show is based on the acclaimed French drama series “Le Bureau des Legendes,” and Showtime and Paramount Media President/CEO  Chris McCarthy compared this American adaptation to the network’s Emmy-winning hit series “Homeland.”

“’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 McCarthy. “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.”

“Le Bureau Des Legendes (The Bureau)” was created by Eric Rochant and follows the daily life and missions of people within France’s principal external security service. That show is a CANAL+ Creation Originale series produced by TOP – The Originals Productions (Alex Berger, Eric Rochant) and Federation Studios (Pascal Breton).

This is not Clooney’s first time directing TV. He previously helmed all episodes of the Hulu limited series adaptation of “Catch-22” in 2019. He recently wrapped directing the feature adaptation of “The Boys in the Boat,” which will be released by United Artists Releasing later this year.

Production on “The Department” is slated to start later this year.

“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 Alex Berger, President and Executive Producer at The Originals Productions (TOP). “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.”

“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.”

Produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, ‘The Department’ will be executive produced by Keith Cox and Nina L. Diaz of MTVE Studios; David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle, David Hutkin and Bob Yari of 101 Studios (Yellowstone); Alex Berger for The Originals Productions; and Ashley Stern and Pascal Breton for Federation Studios/Federation Entertainment of America.