With more than 80 pilots — some of them already picked up to series — the race to cast the hundreds of roles in the dramas and comedies in contention for 2014-15 is well underway. Casting directors now find themselves in the annual scramble to lure stars who are both available and willing to commit to either multiple seasons, or in some cases, short-order limited series.
The increase in “limited” — or “event” — programming is helping to lure big names from the film world, with Hilary Swank, Diane Lane, Jennifer Garner, Luke Wilson, Ryan Phillippe and James Marsden all receiving multiple offers.
“Broadcasters have finally learned that they have to compete with cable and are getting more edgier and better material — and directors, including Lee Daniels,” one talent agent says, pointing to Halle Berry (CBS’ Extant), Zoe Saldana (NBC’s Rosemary’s Baby) and Jessica Lange (FX’s American Horror Story) turning to TV.
“Everyone is fair game. TV has become so significant and it’s so much better than film — and there’s more money in TV than in features,” another talent manager says. “Actors who would not have done TV before are now open to doing that — especially with the success of Netflix.”