Why 5 Film Stars Now Are Turning to TV


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A-List Celebrities No Longer Turn Up Their Nose

A major movie star deigning to star in a lowly TV series?  5 years ago heads would turn, and now this is no longer a shocker.  Before the advent SVOD - and let's face it - House of Cards and Kevin Spacey - it was a rare occurence as television was considered an inferior opportunity compared to films. However, for a multitude of reasons, Hollywood is really starting to change its stripes.

In this blog Hollywood Branded takes a look at some of the reasons why movie stars are agreeing to star in television shows, and provides indepth examples of some upcoming A-listers starring on the small screen this season.


Why Are Celebrities Changing Their Tune?

Typically shooting a television show comes with a consistent schedule. The shoots are usually taped in one city makng a semblance of normalcy a little more achievable. And the hours are fairly regular allowing the actor to go home every night and have dinner with the family. We saw this when Halle Barry took her leading role in Extant and more recently when Jennifer Lopez took on not only the lead role, but an Executive Producer title too in the NBC hit Shades of Blue.

However, what these actors are seeing in television opportunities that is even more substantial than convenience is the ability to really grow with a character.  With film, an actor is limited to typically no more than two or so hours to really get their craft across to an audience. Unless it becomes a franchise hit and spawns a trilogy or more.  But with a well-written TV show, actors really have the opportunity to develop a character over a period of time. We’ve been watching Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood do this for over three years on the Netflix hit and he has the Emmy’s to prove it. 

To that point, there’s no question that networks like HBO, Showtime, Amazon and Netflix are creating truly quality bodies of work that embody many aspects of an Oscar-winning film. And those are the networks that movie stars are starting to take a second glance at.  Take HBO’s upcoming Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects for examples – in addition to an all-star cast (discussed below), the network also locked in Oscar-nominee Jean-Marc Vallee of such films like Dallas Buyers Club and Wild to direct them both. Showtime’s upcoming series, Purity (also discussed below), will be produced by Oscar-winner Scott Rudin of films like The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Social Network. With such talent on and off screen, these shows are sure to be worthy of a binge watch!

Notable Actors You’re Gonna Wanna Set Your DVR For

Oh and one more thing... many all of these TV properties share one thing in common...they originated from books and have a solid audience already developed, making the 'risk' of joining in the series a little, well, less risky!  

Amy Adams – HBO’s Sharp Objects

Amy Adams is set to star in this TV-adaptation of the best-selling novel from Gone Girl author, Gillian Flynn. Marking her first starring role on the small screen, Adams will play a seemingly slightly mentally troubled reporter who has to cover the murder of two preteen girls in her hometown. The only bummer is we’ll have to wait until 2017 to see the series! It tentatively is set to premiere in January.


Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Pierce Brosnan – AMC’s The Son

Making his first return to television since his 1982 role in Remington Steele, the former James Bond star has taken on the leading role in AMC’s adaptation of Philipp Myers’ novel, The Son. The 2013 book follows three generations of the McCullough family, a Texan ranch and oil dynasty, as they navigate business and family politics.  The show should premiere in late 2016. 

Pierce Brosnan The Son AMC

Photo Credit: UPI

Britt Robertson and Netflix’s Girlboss

Today’s young actors are getting in on the TV action too. Fresh off her leading role in Gary Marshall’s Mother’s Day opposite Jennifer Anniston and Kate Hudson, Robertson has just signed on to play the lead in the upcoming Netflix comedy #Girlboss. The show is based on the book written by Sophia Amoruso, the founder and C.E.O of the clothing company Nasty Gal, about her come-up in the fashion industry when online retail really took off. The show will begin at the very beginning of Amoruso’s career and will be a little bit memoir and a little bit career advice, just like the book. And if the show’s biographical plot didn’t hook you, Charlize Theron is executive producing alongside Kay Cannon, one of the comedic geniuses behind New Girl and 30 Rock.  The show, though, isn’t heading to a couch near you until 2017. 

Britt Robertson Girlboss Netflix

Photo Credit: IMDb

Reese Witherspoon AND Nicole Kidman – HBO’s Big Little Lies

The Oscar winners are teaming up both on the screen and behind it for the upcoming HBO series Big Little Lies. The women are producing and starring in the drama about three mothers dealing with ex-husbands, second wives, schoolyard scandals, and those big little lies you tell yourself to get by.  This drama also isn’t heading our way until next year.

Nicole Kidman Reese Witherspoon Big Little Lies

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Daniel Craig – Showtime’s Purity

This one might be the industry’s most shocking film to TV transition because we’re hearing that Craig turned down a $99 million deal to continue the James Bond franchise and took a role on this show instead. While this particular role wasn’t the only reason Craig turned down the mega Blockbuster deal, the show’s great potential definitely helped. Apparently Showtime won the series in an all out bidding war with networks like Netflix, FX, and HBO.  The series, based on Jonathan Franzen’s novel, is about a woman desperate to meet her father and her connection to a controversial WikiLeaks-esque site. It’s already confirmed for 20 episodes. Still no word of when we’ll be able to watch the show, but production is gearing up soon!


Photo Credit: Complex 

What Will These Actors Bring To Our Living Rooms?

It’s clear from the synopses of the shows and the particular characters they’ll play, that these actors will be challenged. They will be pushed to go to enter a territory that’s been relatively foreign to them. And they will delight audiences who have access in their living rooms to a treasure trove of talent that is usually more exclusive and available only in two hour bites once a year.  While it’s always great to these actors on the big screen, we’re now excited to see what they bring to our livings rooms!

These TV series all offer phenomenal product placement opportunities for brands of all categories.  In addition to the mega-star talent, the distributor platforms are brand-friendly, with less restrictions than network TV ad sales requirements.  So if you are interested in knowing if Product Placement is right for your brand, watch this video to learn more about how this marketing practice works, what brand categories it works for, and the results brand marketers see!

Watch the video to learn what is Product Placement