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With Return of Don Johnson, Tim Allen, and More Older Actors in TV Pilots, Are Broadcasters More Open to Shows with Aging Stars?

Mar 14, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Recent casting of older actors such as Don Johnson and Tim Allen on TV pilots may mean that broadcast networks are more open to shows starring actors in their late 50s and in their 60s, reports Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.

Don Johnson, 61, will star in the NBC drama pilot "A Mann’s World," while ABC has an untitled comedy pilot Tim Allen, 57. CBS’ pilot "The Doctor" stars Chrstine Lahti, 61, while ABC’s drama pilot "Grace" stars Eric Roberts, 55, the story notes.

The article points out that the trend comes after several pilots last year cast actors who were older than their characters, such as "Blue Bloods," whose lead was supposed to be in his 50s, but ended up being played by Tom Selleck, 66. David E. Kelley’s "Harry’s Law," was written for a male star between 53-57 years old, but later cast Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, 62, for the role.

Andreeva puts forward several theories about the trend: "Is it a question of acting chops, charisma and star power, something some of the older actors have in spades? Or [are] the broadcast networks are looking to relive their glory days with some of their signature stars of the past (Allen, Johnson and Lahti are all returning to the networks where they became household names with hits ‘Home Improvement’, ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Chicago Hope’, respectively.) Or [is it about] the baby boomers, [who] are turning out in droves to support shows fronted by actors of their generation?," she asks, noting the popularity of the Betty White fronted  "Hot in Cleveland" on TVLand

2 Comments

  1. It is about numbers. A concession that those under 30 are turning away from TV except for reality shows. To keep numbers they have to concede that they need to go after teh older baby boomers who are still TV oriented.

  2. It is about numbers. A concession that those under 30 are turning away from TV except for reality shows. To keep numbers they have to concede that they need to go after teh older baby boomers who are still TV oriented.

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