Thursday, April 25, 2002

From the Screen to the Set
An article in today's USA Today reminded me of when Boston-based Walking magazine started featuring television personalities on its covers. The mag's not big enough to attract stars with Hollywood wattage, but TV actors were just small -- and big -- enough in the entertainment limelight to want to be featured in Walking. Of course, Walking's goal was and might still be to grow in prominence to the point where Moby will want to share his sneaker secrets as well as mug ugly for the cover of Wired, but who knows. TV has always been a stepping stone of sorts to the cinema.

Now USA Today's Bill Keveney reports that movie stars are increasingly stepping into TV shows to perform guest appearances, walk ons, and other roles. In the past, Keveney says, "movie stars once shunned TV for fear of harming their careers." Now it's fair game -- for further exposure, for friends in the business, and just for fun. Keveney looks at several movie celebs who've recently appeared on TV -- and suggests that it's not always a surefire way to promote other projects, much less save a TV's ratings. In fact, Matthew Perry's appearance on Ally McBeal may very well have been the final nail in the coffin of that struggling series.

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