At one time in entertainment history, television was seen as a second class job for actors and directors. When someone appeared on a television show or movie, it meant that their career was on the downward spiral. Things have changed. While movies are still the goal that most creators reach for, television is seen in many cases to be more prestigious and critically acclaimed than their big screen brethren.
That is really apparent in the big name directors and actors who have drifted to television. The most recent of these names is Darren Aronofsky, who has just signed on with HBO to bring the Margaret Atwood “MaddAddam” trilogy to the network. The story from the books involves a dystopian tale about a world where corporations have overtaken the government and now run the world. It includes numerous questionable changes, such as using pigs for replacement organs for humans, executions staged on television for entertainment purposes, and genetic splicing as a huge enterprise.
With Darren Aronofsky turning his talents to television, here is a look at some of the huge directors who made the jump in the past, and the success they found.
Martin Scorsese, “Boardwalk Empire”
Martin Scorsese had made a career out of creating movies based on the underworld and mafia families. With films like “Goodfellas,” “Casino” and “The Departed” in his past, it seemed natural that he could create a great mafia-based television show as well. He did so when he created “Boardwalk Empire” in 2010 for HBO. The series focused on the Prohibition period in the ’20s and ’30s and a corrupt mobster named Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi). The show will end with its fifth season.
Frank Darabont, “The Walking Dead”
Frank Darabont got his start with the very successful adaptation of the Stephen King story “The Shawshank Redemption.” While that movie ranks as one of the best of all time, Darabont’s directing career hasn’t been prolific but it has been successful, with “The Green Mile” and “The Mist” seen as some of the finest King adaptations made. However, Darabont turned his eyes to television in 2010 when he brought “The Walking Dead” to life as a television show on AMC. He only lasted one year, but has since also made the short-lived “Mob City” for TNT.
David Fincher, “House of Cards”
Based on the classic BBC series from the early ’90s, “House of Cards” put Netflix on the map when it came to original programming. It was this series that earned Netflix their first ever Emmy nomination. The show is ran by Beau Willimon and stars Kevin Spacey. However, it was David Fincher who came up with the idea to bring it to television and the man who hired Willimon to write it. Fincher then directed the first two episodes and won an Emmy for the pilot.