New television shows seem to popping up faster than zits on a teenager these days. Every season there seems to be several new network shows boasting attachments to high-profile actors. But in recent years it seems that more often than not these names are of former A-List big screen players. Why do we see these stars making the jump? Steadier paycheck? Fewer location changes? Career revival? These are all reasonable answers for an actor to make their leap to syndication. Here are some big screen greats that have found marginal success as key players on television’s prime-time offerings.
Alec Baldwin- This award-winning, Oscar-nominated big screen star soared throughout the 90′s as an A-Lister. After Y2K paranoia fizzled out, it seemed as if Baldwin’s status did as well. He found himself taking cameo roles on less than stellar features(i.e. The Cat in the Hat) and guest spots on sit-coms(i.e.Will and Grace). But with Baldwin’s Emmy-Award winning performance as Tina Fey’s boss on 30 Rock, it’s easy to say Baldwin will remain a household name for sometime to come.
Mary McDonnell- Many remember this accomplished actress from big screen hits such as Independence Day and Donnie Darko. But for the past four seasons she has found success serving as President on the Emmy-Winning Battlestar Galactica.
Charlie Sheen- Hot Shots!, Platoon, and Major League are just a few of the blockbuster hits that made Sheen a well-respected film actor. But as the new millennium approached he soon found himself taking on roles in less than respectable films(i.e. Good Advice). Struggling to obtain his former success, he made the risky jump to a network sit-com. The risk turned out amazing results as he continues to bring Charlie Harper into the homes of everyone each week on the critically acclaimed Two and a Half Men.
Tony Shalhoub- Many remember Mr. Shalhoub making his mark in Hollywood as Antonio Scarpacci on the hit sit-com Wings. However, the shows departure from the airwaves was accompanied by Tony’s departure from television and into numerous supporting roles on the big screen. That was until 2002, when he returned back to his roots in television to win a Golden Globe as the uproariously funny OCD detective, Monk.
Danny Devito- After achieving success for the first time in television during the 70′s on Taxi, Danny spearheaded his way through the 80′s and 90′s in blockbuster after blockbuster. One would be led to believe that age would begin to slow him down. Nothing would’ve proved to be further from the truth when he made his turn as the repulsively hysterical Frank Reynolds on the hottest show since Seinfeld, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Of course with the success of television, one can ascertain that these stars will begin to see offers pouring in to begin work on future heavy-hitting films. Only time will tell.
This trend does not seem to be stopping any time soon. As former big-screen star Christian Slater amps up his new prime-time drama, My Own Worst Enemy; another past-his-prime legend, Patrick Swayze, prepares to regain notoriety by kicking ass in his upcoming Cop-Drama The Beast.