Television numbers don't lie: political TV is a popular trend right now. With Fox News Channel remaining cable television's most-watched channel for two years running, and Saturday Night Live still seeing solid ratings with its Presidential coverage, Hollywood is looking for more shows with a political spin, and George Clooney is preparing to deliver. Clooney, along with the help of writer Matt Charman, is reportedly developing an eight-part series for Netflix titled Watergate, which will detail one of the biggest controversies and conspiracies in American history.
George Clooney has a good creative partner in Matt Charman, who received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for the Cold War drama Bridge of Spies. For Watergate, the two are planning an eight-part limited series in which each episode will focus on a separate individual involved in the 1970 scandal that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon's resignation. Deadline reports Netflix won the bidding war for rights to develop this highly intriguing project.
While the subject matter in Watergate is interesting enough, the way in which George Clooney and Matt Charman are looking to tackle it sounds even more intriguing. The individual perspective episode idea is apparently being stylized after the Japanese film Rashomon, which was, of course, a film by legendary director Akira Kurosawa. A classic and highly acclaimed film, Rashomon recounts a single event through different witnesses and their varying recollections.
Watergate sounds like a refreshing way to twist the heavily reported-on controversy, which has been dramatized before on film in quite a few different instances, most recently in this year's Mark Felt. With eight episodes each focusing on a different political figure, one has to speculate that President Nixon is bound to be one of the subjects. As for the other seven that are involved, there's a litany of people involved with the Watergate scandal that could be plucked for an individual episode, so its hard to pinpoint exactly who will and won't make the cut in this limited series. We'd assume Bob Woodward will also get some time, though.
The news that Netflix has picked up Watergate for development comes a couple weeks after the streaming service announced that its flagship political drama House of Cards would return for Season 6 with a drastically lower episode count. No doubt Netflix's acquisition of this project will help it remain competitive in a television landscape where political projects net big numbers for networks. Of course, having the star power of George Clooney attached to Watergate will help draw eyes as well, although it has not been stated whether or not Clooney will actually be featured in the series. Expect huge casting announcements for all the major players.
Watergate is currently in development over at Netflix and does not have a release date at this time. For more on streaming premieres, head to our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule, and for upcoming television in general, be sure to visit our fall premiere guide and midseason premiere guide. Those looking to see what shows were canceled in 2017 can visit our cancellation guide.