The stampede of film stars to TV is no longer a trend, it’s just a reality. As such, we’ve moved on from the Kevin Spaceys of the world to other movie stars who are looking for a break. For instance, this fall sees Wesley Snipes head to TV for thriller “The Player,” after a long stretch away from film that saw him most in the public eye for having legal trouble with his taxes. But we think there are plenty of other film actors ripe for a TV resurgence. Here are our picks, and what we think they’d do well in.
Appearing in: a family comedy
Though Chan has “Rush Hour 3” on the horizon, he seems to be past his action star heyday. That’s OK, though — that just means it’s time for him to focus on his equally great but less honored talents as a comic actor. Chan is great at physical comedy, and we can easily picture him as the beleaguered father to his hipster kids, getting in a generational clash about how easy they have it.
Appearing in: a tense legal drama
Allen had a stretch in the ‘80s where she dominated, but lately (except for that return in the most recent “Indiana Jones” movie, whose crimes are mitigated only by her presence) she’s been less active. Which means it’s the perfect time for her to play some kind of high-powered attorney. We’re imagining a “Good Wife” and “How to Get Away with Murder” hybrid, where she’s brilliant, but morally compromised (you know, like every other TV lawyer). Bonus points if they can talk Harrison Ford into a cameo as her ex.
Appearing in: a showbiz satire
Ryder was the It Girl of the ‘90s, but a series of lackluster roles and that little shoplifting issue, plus the usual “industry doesn’t know what to do with women over 35” nonsense have kept her low profile. Why not spoof that? Sure, half the cast of “Friends” is doing that now (“The Comeback” and “Extras”), but we think there’s room for a sharp look at the life of an aging It Girl, particularly in this golden era of lady comedy on TV. Sure, she's appearing in an upcoming HBO miniseries ("Show Me a Hero"), but we think she's ready for her own show.
Appearing in: a seedy lawyer comedy
Sure, Lovitz was also a TV star, but who can forget his turn in “A League of Their Own”? Wherever he’s been, we’d like him to come back, with that particularly Lovitz style of scumbags he does so well. It seems too easy, but he should play a seedy lawyer a la “Better Call Saul,” but, you know, more funny, less violent. We’re also willing to accept him as a doctor with terrible people skills, in a pinch.