Riding high on the critical success of her Academy Award-nominated film The Hurt Locker, director Kathryn Bigelow is looking to bring her talents to the small screen for the pilot episode of a new HBO series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bigelow has signed on to direct the pilot for The Miraculous Year, a new series by writer John Logan (who has penned such major Hollywood hits as The Aviator and Gladiator).
According to THR, The Miraculous Year is an “examination of a New York family as seen through the lens of a charismatic, self-destructive Broadway composer.” THR also categorizes the film as a “light, family drama.”
While the series is different than the material Bigelow typically takes on (namely thoughtful and high-intensity action films), I have no doubt that she will do an excellent job with this pilot, particularly when paired with a writer as skilled as Logan. Although she’s directed for television before, this will be the first time that Bigelow has directed a pilot episode of a television series.
As THR notes in its article, Bigelow’s jump from the big screen to television is not unprecedented and is actually becoming quite common for major Hollywood directors. In addition to Bigelow’s work on The Miraculous Year, HBO has a number of Hollywood heavy-hitters in its wings, including Michael Mann (directing the new series Luck) and Martin Scorsese (Executive Producer of the new series Boardwalk Empire).
Over the last few years, I’ve argued that the best and most original ideas in Hollywood can be found on TV. Whether it’s a hit network drama like Lost or a basic cable sci-fi epic like Battlestar Galactica, many recent TV shows have been more willing to take bigger creative risks than their silver screen counterparts. Personally, I think the success of television over feature films (where everything is either a remake, reboot, or adaptation of a board game) can be seen nowhere more clearly than on HBO.
Bigelow at work
Just look at some of the hits HBO has churned out in the past 15 years: The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Deadwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Big Love. Among its premium cable competitors, HBO’s long history of successful original programming is unprecedented.
Given the freedom that HBO offers to directors and writers, not to mention the channel’s ability to offer more adult-oriented programming, it’s no wonder so many great shows get their start there. Given this fact, along with its star-studded production team, I would be very surprised if The Miraculous Year wasn’t a success.
What do you think? Does this show sound interesting to you? Do you think that there is better writing on TV than in feature films?