Channel Guide: 7 Filmmakers That Should Try Their Hand at (or Return to) Television

Between Martin Scorsese with Boardwalk Empire, Michael Mann with his upcoming series Luck, Tony and Ridley Scott with The Good Wife, David Fincher with his upcoming House of CardsSteven Spielberg with too many upcoming projects to name, and an ungodly amount of smaller names that have directed various pilots, many filmmakers have been trying their hand at a smaller screen.

While that’s great, it isn’t enough. So it’s time to discuss what other filmmakers would be suited well for the idiot box. Here are seven filmmakers that should try their hand at television.

Kevin Smith

Starting with the man whose recent news story is the reason this list was created, Kevin Smith. As much as I love the View Askewniverse films, I can say with certainty the best thing to come out of the franchise was the short lived Clerks: The Animated Series. It’s like Dante and Randall were built to be television characters all along. Their conversations and weekly adventures were enjoyable and digestible in a way the films (though very humorous) were not able to achieve.

Not to mention that the man’s only credit in live action television, the pilot for Reaper was very well crafted and launched a very enjoyable series. While Smith has begun hinting at the possibility of more series being put into production via his internet radio station S.I.R., until we hear an official announcement from him or his camp, all we can do is hope that we will see him make an attempt at the medium once again.

Edgar Wright, Nick Frost & Simon Pegg

I need no better case for this beyond a single word: Spaced. One of the best series to ever make its way over the Atlantic, Spaced is classic Wright, Frost, Pegg humor done on a small scale and built for the small screen.

Nothing would make this TV bug happier than to see that sensibility taken to an American series, maybe something on Comedy Central or FX.

Plus, no one’s even saying Pegg and Frost would have to star in it, but their writing would be well served along side Wright’s direction as it has so many times in the past.

Michael Bay

With Transformers: Dark of The Moon coming out in less than a month, Michael Bay is about to get some free time dropped in his lap. And what better way to spend it than by getting a television series put into production? Bay is known for staying well within a budget and often finding cheaper ways to make ten million dollars look like fifty.

Currently, Bay has an HBO project based on the Cocaine Cowboys documentary on hold, and it’s something that seems right up his alley (except for the period piece part). Guns, drugs, cops, car chases, sounds like another Bad Boys sequel. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to experience a baygasm every week on their couch?

Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino packs so much amazing story into each of his films that he would be the perfect fit for a television series. Imagine if every one of the “chapters” of a Tarantino film were played out as a television season.

I know if I got to watch Tarantino dialogue on screen every week, I would be a happy camper.

And in the current age of television constantly trying to find new ways to portray long form stories, it would be served well by a director with some old school indie flare.

James Cameron

Oh James Cameron, why couldn’t the second season finale of Dark Angel that you directed have been a success? But then again, Dark Angel was very ahead of its time and if you tried to do that series now, it would be met by resounding success. And that’s why it’s time for Cameron to bring his epic-vision-oriented mind back to the small screen.

He’s spent the last ten years pushing the camera technology of filmmaking. How about doing the same for the television industry? Spielberg already beat him to the punch on pushing television CG (Terra Nova and Falling Skies), but there’s still things like HD camera tech (which is the standard for all television series now) and mic tech that would be served well by a Cameron once over.


And speaking of action directors that are able to make an awesome movie on the cheap, it seems like it would be criminal not to put Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor at the helm of an action/adventure series.

They already have shooting on consumer cameras down to a science, and with television’s ever expanding world of action series, why not give them a shot?

Of course it would have to be on pay TV so we can get all the Neveldine/Taylor boobage that is required for their stamp of approval.

Judd Apatow

Freaks and Geeks.


Need I say more?

Want to read more Channel Guide? Of course you do.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.

From a young age, TV guru Merrill Barr has been obsessed with the small screen. And one day he decided to put that obsession to good use.

Read More from Merrill Barr
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