Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Is TV the new film? 

It used to be that movie roles brought actors fame and fortune, and TV is what they did if they couldn't be in movies. It was always considered to be a step down.

I think it's safe to say that this isn't the case anymore.

I've had this idea in my "Drafts" folder for a long time, but it was the news today that freakin' Dustin Hoffman is going to star in an HBO series that finally made me finish the post.

Here are a few of the other movie actors -- many of them bona fide stars -- who have turned to TV over the past few years:

Glenn Close, Sally Field, Holly Hunter, Laurence Fishburne, Gary Sinise, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, James Woods, Kiefer Sutherland, James Spader, Hugh Jackman, Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, William Hurt, Alec Baldwin, Kyra Sedgwick, Timothy Hutton, Gabriel Byrne, Anna Paquin, Charlie Sheen, Dianne Wiest, Chris O'Donnell.
We've never seen anything even remotely like this before.

Now, I'm sure there's still more money to be made in movies if you're an elite superstar in the prime of your career (see Pitt, Brad).

But I think this is pretty clear evidence of the creative risks that television writers are taking, vs. the blandness and "been there, done that" feel of movies.

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