Martin ScorseseA few years ago, there were a lot of articles exploring why top movie actresses were defecting to TV. (Think Glenn Close in 'Damages' or Sally Field in 'Brothers & Sisters.') Now, there appears to be a similar exodus of top directors from the big screen to the small screen.

An article in Sunday's Los Angeles Times cites several recent and forthcoming TV projects by some of Hollywood's most successful filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Gus Van Sant, Neil Jordan, Curtis Hanson, Phillip Noyce, Greg Mottola, and Michael Mann (who got his start as a TV director and had vowed never to return). Others, including Kathryn Bigelow and Bill Condon, have pitched TV projects that haven't been picked up.

These directors are turning to TV for many of the same reasons that the actresses did a few years ago. Two of the most obvious reasons: First, TV is much more about story and character now than movies are. Second, opportunities in movies tend to dry up for risk-taking performers and directors, especially as they get older or are deemed otherwise unbankable by the studios.

The resulting talent drain may be good news for TV, but it's bad news for movies.
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