Why are Movie Actors Jumping on the TV Bandwagon? Because It’s Worth It.

Movie Stars Turned TV Actors A few of your favorite big screen stars who have claimed a spot on the small screen:
  • After Charlie Sheen’s infamous departure from Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher filled in the open position.
  • Zooey Deschanel was the world’s sweetheart after her charming performance in (500) Days of Summer, but now the world can curb their sweet tooth weekly by watching Deschanel in New Girl.
  • After scoring huge roles in popular movies like Coyote Ugly and Secret Window, Bello is on NBC’s Prime Suspect.
  • Christina Ricci’s been in movies since she was a kid, but she also had a stint on the short-lived ABC series Pan Am.
  • Jim Caviezel played the leading role of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ, but his most recent venture is on the TV show Person of Interest.
  • Hank Azaria has nailed every movie role he’s accepted, whether comedic or serious. The same held true when he signed on for NBC’s Free Agents.
Supporting Actors-Turned-Leading Talent? What’s interesting about the many film actors who are taking a stab at television is that in their movies, their name wasn’t necessarily the biggest one on the billboard. Actors who couldn’t carry a movie all by themselves are now headlining television shows. Why is this? Who knows, really. Maybe the actors just haven’t been a great fit for their movies. Maybe they thrive in a dependable TV sitcom setting. Maybe they’re getting paid more in the long run so they make sure to show up with their “A” game every day. What You May Not Know… It’s always surprising to see a huge movie star in a commercial from the 70s. They weren’t always rich and famous? How can that be? They actually had to take jobs that were beneath them at some point? Yes, they did. Many of the TV stars who you’re used to seeing on the big screen are actually just going back to their roots. For many, something happened in their career before they were plastered all over Hollywood’s biggest hits, and that “something” was often television. Why TV After Making It On the Big Screen? Two of the main reasons why actors trade down for a smaller screen size is because of (A) money and (B) time. Movie making ain’t what it used to be, thanks to the crumbling economy. Even rich actors have to work to stay rich, which means they could be somewhat pushed into making different decisions in the past, like taking TV roles. Not to mention that TV’s best perk is continuity, so actors know they’ll be employed for at least the next year. Stability is also a factor. Not every actor is thrilled with a life on the road, traveling from set to set with nowhere to truly call home. Some actors have spouses and children that they don’t want to leave for months on end to film another movie. That’s where the appeal of TV comes in. The shooting location is basically going to stay the same, which means their time is better managed and their schedule is dependable. And Let’s Not Forget… Lastly, TV shows today are like mini movies, separated by just a week. Many shows are beautifully shot, perfectly acted and as interesting as they get. As the quality of TV goes up, true actors who simply love the craft are taking any good script they see, no matter what type of production it’s for. Adam Gilligan is a professional in the entertainment industry. He contributes to leading blogs around the web including GetDirectTV.org.