9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Catch-22': Hulu Unveils First Look at George Clooney-Kyle Chandler Limited Series
Hulu used its TCA platform Monday to make a slew of new series pickups — and unspool the first-look teaser trailer for George Clooney's return to scripted television in Catch-22.
The six-episode series is based on Joseph Heller's seminal novel. It tells the story of an artful dodger, Yossarian (Christopher Abbott, taking on the role played by Alan Arkin in the 1970 movie), a U.S. Air Force bombardier in World War II who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service.
Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he’ll be in violation of "Catch-22," a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule that specifies that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.
Clooney was poised to star as Col. Cathcart (the part originally played by Martin Balsam in the 1970 feature adaptation). That will now be played by Friday Night Lights grad Kyle Chandler. Clooney, who made the decision to take a lesser part in what is his first series regular role since NBC's ER, will now portray Scheisskopf. Catch-22 reunites Chandler with Argo producer Clooney. Hugh Laurie co-stars alongside a cast that also includes Grant Heslov, Austin Stowell and Tessa Ferrer.
Catch-22 is executive produced by Clooney and Heslov on behalf of Smokehouse Pictures, along with Richard Brown and Steve Golin on behalf of Anonymous Content. Luke Davies and David Michôd are co-writers and executive producers for the series, which hails from Paramount Television. Clooney, Heslov and Ellen Kuras each directed two episodes, all of which will bow May 17. Watch the teaser, above.