Well, guess what – sooner or later you’re all coming to us little people of the little screen. That’s right. You may have your Oscar and religion and entourage. You may have your vanity production company, a little yapping dog that you always carry in your purse, and star on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Museum of Bras – but sometime in the future you’re ours.
If there’s such a thing as “Murphy’s Law” I call this “Murphy Brown’s Law”. Candice Bergan, Whoopi, Bette, Geena, Spader, both Sheens …. The list goes on and on.
Movie people consider television the Fredo Corleone of entertainment even though most movie stars today made names for themselves by originally being on TV.
What usually happens is this: their career starts going south. Three straight flops, age catches up (29), a new Flavor-of-the-Month arrives, having a kid by Billy Bob Thornton – these are just the common reasons.
Your agent starts getting inquiries. Instead of laughing in your face he says “she’s not ready yet but maybe in a year”. This means the only offer she’s received in the last few months is the PROJECT GREENLIGHT movie and they want her to read for the 14 year old director. Check back in a week.
The next step is the agent informing the networks that their client “might” be available for someone to build a show around them. This list is distributed to studios and producers. I’m always amused that on this list are always two or three who include the condition “will only meet with A-level writers”. Invariably, these are actors who have never received higher than seventh billing.
A year later they’re in – starring in pilots, reading for pilots, doing a four show guest arc on a prestigious series, joining the cast of an established hit. At first it’s hard, a come down. But then they discover something – television is a great life! Big money, major recognition, steady work, three to six months off – all the things that were there the first time they were in TV and couldn’t wait to leave.
It turns out Fredo’s not so bad after all.
Jack Black – see you in five years. Jennifer Aniston – welcome back in three.