Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez (AND OTHERS) heading to the SMALL SCREEN! | Eyes and Voice

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Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez (AND OTHERS) heading to the SMALL SCREEN!

Viola Davis

Viola Davis has become the latest film star to head to the small screen. The two time Oscar nominee has signed up to star in the ABC pilot ‘How to Get Away with Murder‘ produced by Shonda Rhimes, who is best known for her work on ‘Greys Anatomy‘ and ‘Scandal‘.

The pilot sees Viola playing a mysterious lawyer with a  group of students who become entangled in a murder plot.

Obviously securing Viola is a major signing for Shonda and will no doubt be a show to watch. However we can’t help but notice a new trend starting to build in Hollywood…

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Over the past couple of years many major movie stars have turned to TV as a new platform to showcase their talents.

Just a week ago American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez announced that she will be producing and starring in a NBC drama called ‘Shades of Blue‘ which sees her playing a single mother and police detective who goes undercover for the FBI.

Ryan Seacrest will also be a producer on this series and it will be Jennifer’s first regular scripted show since ‘Hotel Malibu‘ in 1994! More recently you can watch Oscar favourite Matthew McConaughey in the critically acclaimed series ‘True Detective‘ and you would have also caught Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett in ‘American Horror Story: Coven‘.

This summer you can look forward to seeing Halle Berry playing an astronaut in ‘Extanct‘, and just earlier this year Oscar winner (notice a pattern here) Octavia Spencer was attached to the ‘Murder She Wrote‘ revival but that was later scrapped.

However she made a point of saying how ”the most interesting stuff is television”, so perhaps she and other actors are still open to their options on the small screen?

One of  the main examples that kick-started this trend was Kerry Washington.

Before ‘Scandal‘ she was best known for her acclaimed supporting roles in motion pictures such as ‘Save the Last Dance‘, ‘Ray’ and ‘Last King of Scotland‘.

But after a quiet spell she landed the role of Olivia Pope and overnight she received renewed interest and a host of awards and nominations.

Also with the expanding ways in which we can watch our favourite shows such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and even YouTube, doing a scripted series can now not only provide financial benefits for the actors but also expand their audiences and longevity in the public eye.

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With the film industry still known for having standards and expectations in which some actors cannot fight against e.g. ageing, race and stereotyping, TV is indeed becoming the outlet in which there a fewer rules for how a character can be portrayed.

So with all that being said don’t be surprised to see more big screen favourites making a switch to the small screen soon, because in the year 2014 it’s now a more lucrative market to be in than ever!

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Article By:  Grant Savage

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