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FX chief calls cable TV a "status symbol" for actors


Cable TV is now the ne plus ultra for movie stars and screenwriters who don't fit in to a big-screen industry obsessed with 3D and tweener guy audiences, FX suits and exec producers told TV critics Tuesday.

They lapped it up.

"It has become almost a status symbol for an actor to have a cable show...Many actors want their own shows," FX president John Landgraf said.

"A lot of being a movie star these days involves standing in front of a green screen in a latex costume with guide-wires on," Landgraf said.

Plus, there's no heavy lifting, FX's "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan said. After "The Shield" wrapped its run, Ryan took over exec producing broadcast net Fox's "Lie to Me," but he's bailed on that and gone back to FX to do a new series called "Terriers."

Broadcast networks tend to do 22 to 24 episodes per season versus cable's 13 to 15, for starters, he explained.

"Five months of work - it's like doing a long feature [film.] You don't have to occupy [your] life like broadcast network...you get to sit on panels like this and see the ads [for the series]. It's a great thing for both creators and actors."

"It's staggering to me," Ryan said of the number of "top level screen writers" and actors now looking for cable series deals.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  August 3, 2010; 3:57 PM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2010  
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