Good news to start your day – Jean Grey is coming to NBC! Oh, no, I didn’t mean to imply that the folks at the Peacock plan to air a Dark Phoenix saga on Monday nights at 10, right after Heroes (even though they totally should), but rather that Famke Janssen, who’s best known for playing X-Men’s split-persona heroine, will be headlining the network’s police drama pilot from producer David Shore (House).
To me, that’s welcome news; Janssen’s the kind of actress who’d probably be a lot bigger star if movie studios would realize she’s infinitely more appealing than, say, Mandy Moore. But since that’s never going to happen – at 41, Janssen’s more likely to be cast as Moore’s mom nowadays – why not cross over to television, where (ideally) she’ll get 22 complex, interesting scripts every year? (After all, this is the actress who transfixed Nip/Tuck fans during her oh-so-memorable season 2 guest stint as a post-op transsexual.)
Anyway, this got me thinking about other big-screen stars who might benefit from a move to TV. If I ran a network, I’d build a primetime soap around the underutilized talents of Faye Dunaway and Andy Garcia. The former could be cast as the paranoid, ruthless head of Hollywood’s biggest PR firm, spending each week trying to put a positive spin on her famous clients’ public and private disasters; Garcia could play her ambitious, starlet-chasing No. 2 – stuck in a marriage of convenience with Dunaway while plotting to oust her from her job. Now tell me that doesn’t sound more interesting than CSI: Atlanta.
Come on, PopWatchers – let’s show the networks how it should be done. Pick two movie stars who are ready for a switch to the small screen, and tell us how you’d cast ‘em.