Kevin Bacon is reportedly signing on to hunt serial killers on Fox TV in a new series from producer Kevin Williamson (“Scream,” “Dawson’s Creek”).
So you can add Bacon’s name to the long and luminous list of feature film actors who’ve turned to the now not-so-small screen for employment, exposure and worthy material.
Crossover between the mediums has become so common that three of this year’s Oscar nominees are currently also starring in TV series. Nick Nolte (“Warriors”) just debuted with “Luck.” Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”) has been rocking “Damages” for five flinty years. And Melissa McCarthy may be the hottest comedienne in both mediums right now with “Bridesmaids” and “Mike & Molly.”
Steve Buscemi, Toni Collette, Kiefer Sutherland, Dustin Hoffman, Claire Danes, Alec Baldwin, Jessica Lange, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton… the list of film stars who’ve struck gold financially and artistically with a TV series goes on and, as Bacon’s reported signing shows, it’s not likely to end anytime soon.
True, most of the time the move signals an actor’s time on the A list has passed. But fewer and fewer films are star-driven these days, they’re franchise affairs (think “Twilight” or “Harry Potter”). So that A list has withered dramatically.
Meanwhile television remains very much a star-driven enterprise, as well as an actor’s potential dream. You only get to develop a movie character for a couple of hours; on TV you can develop that character over years. Think of what James Gandolfini did with Tony on “The Sopranos.” That’s got to be tempting.