Movie Movers: Small screen attracts big stars
Actors are moving from movies to TV shows like wildebeest migrating across East Africa. From Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock to Kiefer Sutherland in 24, actors have been making the transition to the small screen. Why not?
Except for the big franchises like Twilight and Harry Potter, films have taken a hard knock at the box office in the past decade or so - and not just in the US. How many of your friends still go to the cinema regularly?
Once the poor cousins of their big-screen counterparts, TV stars have been getting as much (if not more) attention, endorsements and tabloid space as movie stars.
Another reason for the migration is that the quality of TV programming has improved significantly.
So it makes sense for some movie actors to feel a little left out and irrelevant and want to move on.
More seasoned (and respected) film actors have their own TV shows: Glenn Close in Damages, Laura Linney in The Big C and Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire.
But it's not only the golden oldies (ahem) who are enjoying TV glory.
Anna Paquin, who won an Oscar aged 11, is now famous for True Blood, while Claire Danes has joined the TV stable in the espionage thriller Homeland. Zooey Deschanel's TV show, New Girl, has also been a hit.
Still, many actors haven't been able to pull off the migration successfully.
As Kevin Fallon wrote in The Atlantic magazine: "It's time for movie stars to stop doing television shows."
But that's not what the studio executives (and their bank accounts) think.
This year, Meg Ryan, Kevin Bacon, Don Cheadle, and Christina Ricci, Mira Sorvino and many others will also star in new TV shows. Oh goodness, Fallon might not get his way.