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The Real Reason George Clooney Left ER

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Post by Admin Tue 08 Feb 2022, 21:17

Anyone else feel old when media sites write 'news' as though it's an exclusive reveal of a secret, when the information was widely shared in interviews at the time?


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The Real Reason George Clooney Left ER


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BY MIKE BEDARD/FEB. 2, 2022 7:02 PM EST


George Clooney is arguably one of the most famous men on the planet. He's become known all over for his chiseled good looks and his intrinsic star power, allowing him to lead a bevy of classics from "Ocean's Eleven" to "Gravity." However, like most actors, he didn't immediately jump to the front of the line of famous men; he had to pay his dues, getting his start primarily on the television side of things. 


He had recurring roles on the likes of "Roseanne" and "Sunset Beat," but he really broke into the mainstream thanks to a prominent role as Dr. Doug Ross on "ER." Immediately, audiences took notice, with Clooney winning over numerous hearts until the show's fifth season. However, the show went on to have 15 seasons, meaning Clooney departed partway through the show's tenure. 

As it turns out, Clooney left the show in its fifth season so that he could focus on his burgeoning film career (via CBR). He was able to star in movies like "Batman & Robin," "The Peacemaker," and "Out of Sight" while concurrently filming "ER," but to take things to the next level, he had to leave his TV roots behind.

George Clooney's career move was seen as a gamble at the time


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In today's streaming age, actors effortlessly move between TV shows and movies. It's not seen as a big deal these days, but in the 1980s and '90s, television was seen as "lesser" than films. Many actors would get their start in TV shows before "moving upward" to movies. This can be seen in the careers of Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, and Clint Eastwood, to name a few. And George Clooney followed that precise trajectory. 


After making a name for himself on "ER" and proving he could lead a film in the process, he was ready to make the leap into film full-time. It was a gamble that paid off well for the actor, as he immediately endeared himself to audiences with early 2000s roles in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," "Ocean's Eleven," and "Good Night, and Good Luck." His slingshot into superstardom makes one 1999 article from SF Gate all the more amusing. In it, the writer states, "George Clooney leaves 'ER' tonight on the path to Hollywood immortality, or possibly en route to accidental obscurity." It's safe to say Clooney fell into the former camp.

The article also contains a quote from "ER" executive producer John Wells, who stated how the actor "lost literally millions of dollars by staying on the show." Clooney fulfilled his contractual obligations, so when he finally left to become a movie star, he was on good terms with the people who helped launch his career. Given his fantastic filmography, it's clear he made the right decision.
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Post by Admin Tue 08 Feb 2022, 21:18

TL:DR - George left ER to focus on his film career.  A move that was widely publicised at the time and in the decades following his departure, and rehashed at regular intervals since.
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Post by Ida Tue 08 Feb 2022, 22:57

I'm 61 & a long time fan so I remember his original interviews about this. I still don't understand whyTV is considered lesser than movies, though. Unless it's because a TV series seems to be more demanding? I know nothing about the acting profession.

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Post by Admin Wed 09 Feb 2022, 08:55

I think films have all the glamour, and (back then, anyway), all the money. Movie stars were just that: stars, whereas tv actors were just actors.

I remember George saying that fans always reacted differently to him than to film stars, because he's effectively been in their house every week and they'd watched him in their underpants whereas there was an air of awe towards the stars who were on the big screen.

Nice to see you posting, Ida, by the way.
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Post by party animal - not! Wed 09 Feb 2022, 13:56

Katie, re the 'exclusives' - sorry, rehashes - as I'm sure you know - these are just space-fillers  to a)fill their pages  b)sell more papers and c) Often worse at Oscar time so anything goes as long as it's 'relevant'.

Having worked with news media an awful lot, I think it's getting worse because of social media and endless outlets for rubbish, and 'personal' views. Not made any better by the Zuckerbergs and Murdochs of this world - and of course the Mailonline where more characters than you will ever know feel the need 'for a coffee run', heavily promoted by their agents. Sad that this is the widest read of all publications on line and doesn't do justice to the many really good journalists who may work for them - but I guess that is what funds them.

I don't particularly feel old - just more cynical!

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Post by Admin Tue 15 Feb 2022, 18:14

I totally agree PAN.  And if I can get on my high horse for a minute here (everyone else, feel free to click away, I'm going wildly off topic again!), part of this is driven by people who really don't understand what they're doing.

Seriously good journalists are being made redundant because their online articles just don't drive the clicks in the way that these click-baity articles do.  It's a crying shame.
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Post by LizzyNY Tue 15 Feb 2022, 19:07

Katie - You're so right about click bait driving "journalism". I read 3 papers and visit several websites and YouTube channels to try and get an overall picture of what's going on - especially in US politics - but also in the rest of the world. Most of the sources I visit are thoughtful and present themselves as just what they are : opinion or factual analysis. Their headlines are statements of content, nothing more - except for one.

There is an "analyst" named Christo Aivalis whose YouTube videos have the most sensational, click-baiting titles I've seen. The disconnect between the "topic" and the actual substance of the post is hilarious and I almost always look to see what he's actually talking about. I probably shouldn't, but he is good for a laugh and he does occasionally make a valid point.
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Post by party animal - not! Tue 15 Feb 2022, 19:16

So true, Katie. Don't know if you watched the Louis Theroux documentary series last night on the Beeb. Quite shocking.

And when a certain newspaper owner from the other side of the world walked into Fleet Street, I can tell you that within days all the brilliant journos who specialised in, say, engineering or science, were told to take a slightly higher pay grade to go to stories that were well below that grade - but surprise, surprise! - sold newspapers. Tricky for those employed since the man had taken over several high and low quality newspapers so job opportunities were not great....

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