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Film stars ‘go TV’ in a big way this season

Kiefer Sutherland in “Designated Survivor”

Kiefer Sutherland in “Designated Survivor”

Television has become such a dominant and “happening” medium of late that quite a number of movie stars value its career-enhancing power and now work in it.

After the hit series “24,” Kiefer Sutherland now stars in “Designated Survivor,” a drama series that casts him as a cabinet member who suddenly becomes the US president after an attack on Washington DC kills everyone ahead of him in the line of succession.

For her part, Katherine Heigl leads the cast of “Doubt,” where she plays a defense attorney who falls in love with her client—who may or may not be guilty of a horrifying crime!

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Geena Davis topbills the sequel to the horror classic, “The Exorcist,” taking over Linda Blair’s role as the possessed girl, all grown up.

Kristen Bell and Ted Danson play principal characters in “The Good Place,” a sitcom set in a mad version of the afterlife.

Matt LeBlanc portrays a househusband in “Man with a Plan,” and discovers, to his dismay, that his kids are way too much to handle!

Vanessa Hudgens’ new TV starrer, “Powerless,” is a clever twist on superhero capers, focusing instead on the insurance adjusters who have to cover the damages caused by the superheroes!

In “Speechless,” Minnie Driver plays a mother of three, one of whom is a “special needs” child.

“Star” has a stellar cast led by Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt, and is about three young singers who want to make it big in the music biz.

Mandy Moore has staged a hit comeback in the popular series, “This Is Us,” about a group of people who share the same birthday, and whose lives intersect in various instructive ways.

Bill Paxton portrays a “morally questionable” detective in the 2017 remake of “Training Day,” the 2001 movie starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.

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John Lithgow plays a quirky professor who’s accused of killing his wife in “Trial and Error.” Piper Perabo is cast as a cable news producer in “Notorious.”

As for the Wayans brothers, they’re in two separate productions: Damon stars in the remake of “Lethal Weapon,” while Marlon topbills “Marlon,” a sitcom based on his own life.

The most star-studded TV production of them all is “Big Little Lies,” which follows three women dealing with problems ranging from domestic abuse to rowdy kids.

Attracted by the show’s interesting and challenging characters, plots and themes, the production has snagged the stellar services of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Alexander Skarsgard, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley!

Other producers are green with envy, but the lesson learned is all too clear: If you want to get the best and biggest stars “hooked” on being a part of your production, offer them top money—but also make sure to give them roles that they can really sink their thespic teeth into.

In fact, some stars have been known to take pay cuts if the role up for grabs is too good to pass up—for fear of it going to a rival who can savvily use it to hit a career-boosting and competition-slaying home run.

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TAGS: Television
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