A television film (also known as a TV movie, TV film, television movie, telefilm[a], telemovie, motion picture made for television, made-for-television movie, made-for-television film, direct-to-TV movie, direct-to-TV film, movie of the week, feature-length drama, single drama and original movie) is a feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to, a television network, in contrast to theatrical films, which are made explicitly for initial showing in movie theaters.
Though not exactly labeled as such, there were early precedents for "television movies", such as Talk Faster, Mister, which aired on WABD (now WNYW) in New York City on December 18, 1944, and was produced by RKO Pictures, or the 1957 The Pied Piper of Hamelin, based on the poem by Robert Browning, and starring Van Johnson, one of the first filmed "family musicals" made directly for television. That film was made in Technicolor, a first for television, which ordinarily used color processes originated by specific networks (most "family musicals" of the time, such as Peter Pan, were not filmed but broadcast live and preserved on kinescope, a recording of a television program made by filming the picture from a video monitor – and the only (relatively inexpensive) method of recording a television program until the invention of videotape).
Television films had a rough start when the idea was first presented in the 1950s to major networks. The production for the films was an unstable business with certain challenges facing early participants. Many television networks were hostile toward film programming, fearing that it would loosen the network's arrangements with sponsors and affiliates by encouraging station managers to make independent deals with advertisers and film producers.
By contrast, beginning in the 1950s episodes of American television series would be placed together and released as feature films in overseas cinemas.
Television networks were in control of the most valuable prime time slots available for programming, so syndicators of independent television films had to settle for fewer television markets and less desirable time periods. This meant much smaller advertising revenues and license fees compared with network-supplied programming.
The term "made-for-TV movie" was coined in the United States in the early 1960s as an incentive for movie audiences to stay home and watch what was promoted as the equivalent of a first-run theatrical film. Beginning in 1961 with NBC Saturday Night at the Movies, a prime time network showing of a television premiere of a major theatrical film release, the other networks soon copied the format, with each of the networks having several [Day of the Week] Night At The Movies showcases which led to a shortage of movie studio product. The first of these made-for-TV movies is generally acknowledged to be See How They Run, which debuted on NBC on October 7, 1964. A previous film, The Killers, starring Lee Marvin and Ronald Reagan, was filmed as a TV-movie, although NBC decided it was too violent for television and it was released theatrically instead.
These features originally filled a 90-minute programming time slot (including commercials), later expanded to two hours, and were usually broadcast as a weekly anthology television series (for example, the ABC Movie of the Week). Many early television movies featured major stars, and some were accorded higher budgets than standard television series of the same length, including the major dramatic anthology programs which they came to replace.
In 1996, 264 made-for-TV movies were made by the five largest American television networks at the time (CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and the WB), averaging a 7.5 rating. By 2000, however, only 146 TV movies were made by those five networks, averaging a 5.4 rating. On the other hand, the number of made-for-cable movies made annually in the U.S. doubled between 1990 and 2000.
ABC's Battlestar Galactica: Saga of a Star World premiered to an audience of over 60 million people on September 17, 1978.
Possibly the most-watched television movie of all time was ABC's The Day After, which premiered on November 20, 1983, to an estimated audience of 100 million people. The film depicted America after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, and was the subject of much controversy and discussion at the time of its release due to its graphic nature and subject matter.
Another popular and critically acclaimed television movie was 1971's Duel, written by Richard Matheson, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Dennis Weaver. Such was the quality and popularity of Duel that it was released to cinemas in Europe and Australia, and had a limited theatrical release to some venues in the United States and Canada. The 1971 made-for-TV movie Brian's Song was also briefly released to theatres after its success on television, and was even remade in 2001. In some instances, television movies of the period had more explicit content included in the versions prepared to be exhibited theatrically in Europe. Examples of this include The Legend of Lizzie Borden, Helter Skelter, Prince of Bel Air and Spectre.
Many television movies released in the 1970s were a source of controversy, such as Linda Blair's 1974 film Born Innocent and 1975's Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, as well as 1976's Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway and its 1977 sequel, Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn, which were vehicles for former Brady Bunch actress Eve Plumb. Another significant film was Elizabeth Montgomery's portrayal of a rape victim in the drama A Case of Rape (1974).
My Sweet Charlie (1970) with Patty Duke and Al Freeman, Jr. dealt with racial prejudice, and That Certain Summer (1972), starring Hal Holbrook and Martin Sheen, although controversial, was considered the first television movie to approach the subject of homosexuality in a non-threatening manner. If These Walls Could Talk, a film which deals with abortion in three different decades (the 1950s, the 1970s and the 1990s) became a huge success, and was HBO's highest rated film on record.
If a network orders a two-hour television pilot for a proposed show, it will usually broadcast it as a television movie to recoup some of the costs even if the network chooses to not order the show to series. Often a successful series may spawn a television movie sequel after ending its run. For example, Babylon 5: The Gathering launched the science fiction series Babylon 5 and is considered to be distinct from the show's regular run of one-hour episodes. Babylon 5 also has several made-for-TV movie sequels set within the same fictional continuity. The 2003 remake of Battlestar Galactica began as a two-part miniseries that later continued as a weekly television program. Another example is the Showtime movie Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which launched the sitcom of the same name that originally aired on ABC, and used the same actress (Melissa Joan Hart) for the lead role in both. The term "TV movie" is also frequently used as vehicles for "reunions" of long-departed series, as in Return to Mayberry and A Very Brady Christmas. They can also be a spin-off from a TV series including The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and The Death of the Incredible Hulk.
Occasionally, television movies are used as sequels to successful theatrical films. For example, only the first film in The Parent Trap series was released theatrically. The Parent Trap II, III and Hawaiian Honeymoon were produced for television, and similarly, the Midnight Run sequels have all been released as made-for-TV movies despite the first having a strong run in theaters. These types of films may be, and more commonly are, released direct-to-video; there have been some films, such as The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning (a prequel to the film version of The Dukes of Hazzard) and James A. Michener's Texas, which have been released near simultaneously on DVD and on television, but have never been released in theatres.
Made-for-TV movie musicals have also become popular. One prime example is the High School Musical series, which aired its first two films on the Disney Channel. The first television movie was so successful that a sequel was produced, High School Musical 2, that debuted in August 2007 to 17.2 million viewers (this made it the highest-rated non-sports program in the history of basic cable and the highest-rated made-for-cable movie premiere on record). Due to the popularity of the first two films, the second HSM sequel, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, was released as a theatrical film in 2008 instead of airing on Disney Channel; High School Musical 3 became one of the highest-grossing movie musicals.
Television movies traditionally were often broadcast by the major networks during sweeps season. Such offerings now are very rare; as Ken Tucker noted while reviewing the Jesse Stone CBS television movies, "broadcast networks aren’t investing in made-for-TV movies anymore". The slack has been taken up by cable networks such as Hallmark Channel, Syfy, Lifetime and HBO, with productions such as Temple Grandin and Recount, often utilizing top creative talent.
High-calibre limited programming which would have been formerly scheduled solely as a two-hour film or miniseries also has been re-adapted to the newer "limited series" format over a period of weeks (rather than the consecutive days usually defined by a miniseries) where a conclusion is assured; an example of such would be The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and these are most often seen on cable networks and streaming services such as Netflix.
In a 1991 New York Times article, television critic John J. O'Connor wrote that "few artifacts of popular culture invite more condescension than the made-for-television movie". Network-made television movies in the United States have tended to be inexpensively-produced and perceived to be of low quality. Stylistically, these films often resemble single episodes of dramatic television series. Often, television films are made to "cash in" on the interest centering on stories currently prominent in the news, as the films based on the "Long Island Lolita" scandal involving Joey Buttafuoco and Amy Fisher were in 1993.
The stories are written to reach periodic semi-cliffhangers coinciding with the network-scheduled times for the insertion of commercials, and are further managed to fill, but not exceed, the fixed running times allotted by the network to each movie "series". In the case of films made for cable channels, they may rely on common, repetitive tropes (Hallmark Channel, for example, is notorious for its formulaic Christmas romances, while Lifetime movies are well-known for their common use of damsel in distress storylines). The movies tend to rely on smaller casts one such exception being those produced for premium cable, such as Behind the Candelabra (which featured established film actors Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in the lead roles) and a limited range of scene settings and camera setups. Even Spielberg's Duel, while having decent production values, features a very small cast (apart from Dennis Weaver, all other actors appearing in the film play smaller roles) and mostly outdoor shooting locations in the desert.
The movies typically employ smaller crews, and rarely feature expensive special effects. Although a film's expenses would be lessened by filming using video, as the movies were contracted by television studios, these films were required to be shot on 35mm film. Various techniques are often employed to "pad" television movies with low budgets and underdeveloped scripts, such as music video-style montages, flashbacks, or repeated footage, and extended periods of dramatic slow motion footage. However, the less expensive digital 24p video format has made some quality improvements on the television movie market.
Part of the reason for the lower budgets comes from the lack of revenue streams from them; whereas a theatrical film can make money from ticket sales, re-releases and syndication to television stations, most television films lacked those revenue streams, and the films are seldom rerun. Raconteur Jean Shepherd produced several television films in the 1970s and 1980s before realizing that the proceeds from his first theatrical film, A Christmas Story, far exceeded anything he had ever done in television.
Nonetheless, notable exceptions exist of high production quality and well-known casts and crews that even earned awards, such as The Diamond Fleece, a 1992 Canadian TV film directed by Al Waxman and starring Ben Cross, Kate Nelligan and Brian Dennehy. It earned Nelligan the 1993 Gemini Award for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series".
Occasionally, a long-running television series is used as the basis for television movies that air during the show's run (as opposed to the above-mentioned "reunion specials"). Typically, such movies employ a filmed single-camera setup even if the television series is videotaped using a multiple-camera setup, but are written to be easily broken up into individual 30- or 60-minute episodes for syndication. Many such movies relocate the cast of the show to an exotic overseas setting. However, although they may be advertised as movies, they are really simply extended episodes of television shows, such as the pilots and the finales of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Most of these are made and shown during sweeps period in order to attract a large television audience and boost viewership for a show.
Lloyd Vernet "Beau" Bridges III (born December 9, 1941) is an American actor and director. He is a three-time Emmy, two-time Golden Globe and one-time Grammy Award winner, as well as a two-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee. Bridges was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 7, 2003, at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard for his contributions to the television industry. He is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges and elder brother of fellow actor Jeff Bridges.Billy Zane
William George Zane Jr. (born February 24, 1966) is an American actor and producer. He is best known for his role in the epic romantic disaster film Titanic (1997), as well as roles in the science fiction comedies Back to the Future (1985) and Back to the Future Part II (1989), Dead Calm (1989), the television series Twin Peaks (1991), the western film Tombstone (1993), the horror film Demon Knight (1995), Kingdom Hearts (2002), and the comedy-drama CQ (2001).Blythe Danner
Blythe Katherine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is an American actress. She is the recipient of several accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Izzy Huffstodt on Huff (2004–2006), and a Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance in Butterflies Are Free on Broadway (1969–1972). Danner was twice nominated for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for portraying Marilyn Truman on Will & Grace (2001–06; 2018), and the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her roles in We Were the Mulvaneys (2002) and Back When We Were Grownups (2004). For the latter, she also received a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Danner played Dina Byrnes in Meet the Parents (2000) and its sequels Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010). She has collaborated on several occasions with Woody Allen, appearing in three of his films: Another Woman (1988), Alice (1990), and Husbands and Wives (1992). Her other notable film credits include 1776 (1972), Hearts of the West (1975), The Great Santini (1979), Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990), The Prince of Tides (1991), To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995), The Myth of Fingerprints (1997), The X-Files (1998), Forces of Nature (1999), The Last Kiss (2006), Paul (2011), Hello I Must Be Going (2012), I'll See You in My Dreams (2015), and What They Had (2018).
Danner is the sister of Harry Danner and the widow of Bruce Paltrow. She is the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow.Bruce Dern
Bruce MacLeish Dern (born June 4, 1936) is an American actor, often playing supporting villainous characters of unstable nature. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Coming Home (1978) and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Nebraska (2013). His other film appearances include The Cowboys (1972), Black Sunday (1977), Monster (2003), and The Hateful Eight (2015).Candace Cameron Bure
Candace Cameron Bure (; born Candace Helaine Cameron; April 6, 1976) is an American actress, producer, author, and talk show panelist. She is known for her role as D.J. Tanner on Full House, which she reprised as D.J. Tanner-Fuller on Fuller House. She is also known for her work with Hallmark Channel, playing the role of Aurora Teagarden in Hallmark Channel's film adaptation of the novel series as well having starred in many of their Christmas films.
In 2014, she was a contestant on season 18 of Dancing with the Stars, finishing in third place. She also starred as Summer van Horne on Make It or Break It. She is the sister of actor Kirk Cameron, known for Growing Pains. From 2015 to 2016, she was a co-host of the daytime television talk show The View.Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz (German: [ˈkrɪstɔf ˈvalts]; born 4 October 1956) is a German-Austrian actor, voice actor, and director.He is widely known for his work with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving critical acclaim for portraying SS officer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For both performances, he earned an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Waltz also received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.Waltz portrayed computer genius Qohen Leth in the science fiction film The Zero Theorem (2013), American plagiarist Walter Keane in the biographical film Big Eyes (2014), and James Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre (2015), the twenty-fourth Bond film.Christopher Lloyd
Christopher Allen Lloyd (born October 22, 1938) is an American actor, voice actor, and comedian. Lloyd came to public attention in Northeastern theater productions during the 1960s and early 1970s, earning an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for his work. He made his screen debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and gained widespread recognition as Jim Ignatowski in the comedy series Taxi (1978–1983), for which he won two Emmy Awards. Lloyd also starred as Emmett "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993).
Lloyd earned a third Emmy for his 1992 guest appearance in Road to Avonlea, and won an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in Twenty Bucks (1993). He has done extensive voice work, including Merlock in DuckTales the Movie (1990), Grigori Rasputin in Anastasia (1997), The Woodsman in Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall (2014), and the Hacker in PBS Kids series Cyberchase (2002–present), which earned him two further Emmy nominations. He has also been nominated for two Saturn Awards and a BIFA Award.Colleen Dewhurst
Colleen Rose Dewhurst (3 June 1924 – 22 August 1991) was a Canadian-American actress. She is known most for theatre roles, and for a while as "the Queen of Off-Broadway". In her autobiography, Dewhurst wrote: "I had moved so quickly from one Off-Broadway production to the next that I was known, at one point, as the 'Queen of Off-Broadway'. This title was not due to my brilliance, but, rather, because most of the plays I was in closed after a run of anywhere from one night to two weeks. I would then move immediately into another." She was a renowned interpreter of the works of Eugene O'Neill on the stage, and her career also encompassed film, early dramas on live television, and Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. One of her last roles was playing Marilla Cuthbert in the Kevin Sullivan television adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables series, and her reprisal of the role in the subsequent TV series Road to Avonlea (marketed as Avonlea in the US). Dewhurst won two Tony Awards and four Emmy Awards for her stage and television work.Colm Feore
Colm Feore OC (; born August 22, 1958), is an American-born Canadian stage, film and television actor. A 13-year veteran of the Stratford Festival, he is best known for his Gemini-winning turn as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in the television miniseries Trudeau, as well as roles such as Detective Martin Ward in Bon Cop, Bad Cop, Lord Marshal Zhylaw in The Chronicles of Riddick, Pope Julius II on The Borgias, First Gentleman Henry Taylor on 24, General Ted Brockhart on House of Cards, and Declan Gallard on 21 Thunder. He is a Prix Iris and Screen Actors Guild Award winner and a Genie Award nominee.Gary Cole
Gary Michael Cole (born September 20, 1956) is an American actor and voice actor. Cole began his professional acting career on stage at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1985. On television, he has had starring roles in the TV series Midnight Caller, American Gothic, Crusade, The Good Wife, Veep and most recently Chicago Fire. In film, he has appeared in The Brady Bunch Movie, One Hour Photo, Office Space, Dodgeball and Talladega Nights. He is also known for voicing the title character on the Adult Swim series Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law and Dr. James Timothy Possible on Kim Possible.Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Louise Alley (born January 12, 1951) is an American actress and spokesmodel. She first achieved recognition in 1982, playing Saavik in the science fiction film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Alley is best known for her portrayal of Rebecca Howe on the NBC sitcom Cheers (1987–1993), for which she received an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe in 1991. From 1997–2000, she starred on the sitcom Veronica's Closet, earning additional Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Alley received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995.
Alley has appeared in several movies, including Summer School (1987), Shoot to Kill (1988), Look Who's Talking (1989) and its two sequels (1990–93), Madhouse, Sibling Rivalry (both 1990), Village of the Damned, It Takes Two (both 1995), Deconstructing Harry, For Richer or Poorer (both 1997), and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999). She won her second Emmy Award in 1994 for the television film David's Mother.
In 1997, Alley received a further Emmy nomination for her work in the crime drama series The Last Don. In 2005, she played a fictionalized version of herself on Showtime's Fat Actress. She later appeared on the reality show Kirstie Alley's Big Life (2010), and was a contestant on the twelfth season of Dancing with the Stars (2011–12), finishing in second place. In 2013, she returned to acting with the title role on the sitcom Kirstie, and in 2016 joined the second season of the Fox comedy horror series Scream Queens. In 2018, Alley finished as runner-up on season 22 of the British reality series Celebrity Big Brother.Louis Gossett Jr.
Louis Cameron Gossett Jr. (born May 27, 1936) is an American actor. He is best known for his Academy Award winning role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, and his role as Fiddler in the 1977 ABC television miniseries Roots. Gossett has also starred in numerous other film productions including A Raisin in the Sun, The Landlord, Skin Game, Travels with My Aunt, The Laughing Policeman, The Deep, Jaws 3-D, Wolfgang Petersen's Enemy Mine, the Iron Eagle series, Toy Soldiers and The Punisher, in an acting career that spans over five decades.Luke Perry
Coy Luther "Luke" Perry III (October 11, 1966 – March 4, 2019) was an American actor. He became a teen idol for playing Dylan McKay on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990 to 1995, and again from 1998 to 2000. He also starred as Fred Andrews on the CW series Riverdale, and had guest roles on notable shows such as Criminal Minds, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Simpsons, and Will & Grace.Richard Crenna
Richard Donald Crenna (November 30, 1926 – January 17, 2003) was an American motion picture, television, and radio actor and occasional television director.Richard Crenna starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Un Flic, Body Heat, the first three Rambo movies, Hot Shots! Part Deux, and The Flamingo Kid. Crenna's first success came on radio in 1948 as high school student "Walter Denton" co-starring with Eve Arden and Gale Gordon in the CBS network series Our Miss Brooks. Crenna continued with the long running comedy in its 1952 move into television. He also had a role as "Luke McCoy" in the ABC television, and later CBS, series The Real McCoys (1957–63).Satellite Awards
The Satellite Awards are annual awards given by the International Press Academy that are commonly noted in entertainment industry journals and blogs. The awards were originally known as the Golden Satellite Awards. The award ceremonies take place each year at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles.In 2011, Satellite nominations in the motion picture categories were pared from 22 to 19 classifications; the change reflects the merger of Drama and Comedy/Musical under a general Best Picture heading, including the Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress headings.Sean Bean
Shaun Mark Bean (born 17 April 1959), credited professionally as Sean Bean (), is an English actor. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Bean made his professional debut in a theatre production of Romeo and Juliet in 1983. Retaining his Yorkshire accent, he first found mainstream success for his portrayal of Richard Sharpe in the ITV series Sharpe. Bean subsequently gained further recognition for his performance as Ned Stark in the HBO epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, and won both a BAFTA and an International Emmy, both for Best Actor. He has also been nominated for a Saturn Award. One of his most prominent film roles was Boromir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003).
Other roles include Alec Trevelyan in the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995) and Odysseus in Troy (2004), as well as roles in Patriot Games (1992), Ronin (1998), Equilibrium (2002), National Treasure (2004), North Country (2005), The Island (2005), Silent Hill (2006), Black Death (2010), Jupiter Ascending (2015) and The Martian (2015). Other TV roles include the BBC anthology series Accused and the ITV historical drama series Henry VIII. As a voice actor, Bean has been featured in the video games The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Sid Meier's Civilization VI, and the drama The Canterbury Tales, among several others.
A reputation for frequently portraying characters who are violently killed has earned Bean the status of an Internet meme.Stacy Keach
Walter Stacy Keach Jr. (born June 2, 1941) is an American actor. Highly prolific, he has played mainly dramatic roles throughout his career, often in law enforcement or as a private detective. His most prominent role was as Mickey Spillane's fictional detective Mike Hammer, which he played in numerous stand-alone television films and at least three different television series throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The role earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination in 1984.
He has also performed as a narrator for programs including CNBC'S American Greed (2008–) and various educational television programs. Comedic roles include his role in the Fox sitcom Titus (2000–2002) as Ken, the father of comedian Christopher Titus, and as Sergeant Stedenko in Cheech & Chong's films Up in Smoke (1978) and Nice Dreams (1981). His most recent recurring roles include two seasons as Henry Pope, the warden, in the series Prison Break (2005–2007); "Pops", the father of the main character from the boxing drama Lights Out (2011); the elderly father Bob on the sitcom Crowded (2016); and the father of Matt LeBlanc's protagonist Adam on Man With A Plan (2016–). Keach won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for the television miniseries Hemingway (1988). In 2015, Keach was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and in 2019, he was honored a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.Ted Danson
Edward Bridge Danson III (born December 29, 1947) is an American actor and producer who played the lead character Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, Jack Holden in the films Three Men and a Baby and Three Men and a Little Lady, and Dr. John Becker on the CBS sitcom Becker. He also starred in the CBS dramas CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Cyber as D.B. Russell. Additionally, he played a recurring role on Larry David's HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, starred alongside Glenn Close in legal drama Damages, and was a regular on the HBO comedy series Bored to Death. In 2015 he starred as Hank Larsson in the second season of FX's black comedy-crime drama anthology Fargo. Since 2016, he has played the afterlife "architect" Michael in the NBC sitcom The Good Place.
During his career, Danson has been nominated for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two; ten Golden Globe Awards nominations, winning three; one Screen Actors Guild Award; and one American Comedy Award and has been awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. He was ranked second in TV Guide's list of the top 25 television stars. Danson has also been a longtime activist in ocean conservation. In March 2011, he published his first book, Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them, written with journalist Michael D'Orso.Tom Skerritt
Thomas Roy Skerritt (born August 25, 1933) is an American actor who has appeared in more than forty films and more than two hundred television episodes since 1962. He is known for his film roles in M*A*S*H, Alien, Top Gun, A River Runs Through It, Up in Smoke, and the television series Picket Fences. Skerritt has earned several nominations and awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1993 for Picket Fences.