TV Transitions: Making the leap from the small screen to the big screen

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There’s an old Dutch saying – well, maybe not that old – which says, “Sommige mensen hebben het, hebben sommige mensen het niet.” Now, mind you, we’ve probably completely screwed up the grammar because, well, because we don’t actually speak Dutch. But, anyway, the general premise of the saying is, “Some people got it, some people don’t,” and to our way of thinking, that’s as good an explanation as any for why certain actors and actresses are able to make the leap from television to motion pictures and some aren’t. After all, it clearly can’t be based solely on talent, nor can we place it strictly within the purview of pure luck, and since lord knows the movie-going public can’t be trusted to only go see good movies…yeah, OK, sure, “some people got it, some people don’t” will do in a pinch. Bullz-Eye’s taken a look at the past several years and come up with a list of some notable actors and actresses who attempted to escape from television’s gravitational pull and achieve Hollywood orbit, only to get sucked back onto the small screen. We’ve put together a few smaller lists as well, including a Hall of Fame for those who did pull off the transition, a few names we’d like to see on movie credits more often, and several that we suspect will be shopping for their own sitcom or hour-long drama in the very near future.

Corbin Bernsen

First Big TV Role: Arnie Becker, “L.A. Law” (1986 to 1994)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1987’s “Hello Again.” Bernsen plays the vain Jason Chadman, whose wife, Lucy (Shelly Long), dies after choking on an Oriental chicken ball but is magically brought back to life a year later.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1992’s “Frozen Assets,” where he re-teamed with Long for an absolutely excruciating comedy about a sperm bank that famously received a “no stars” rating from Roger Ebert.
What Happened Next: In between these two films, Bernsen did a respectable job in the ensembles of two other comedies: “Major League” and “Disorganized Crime.” We’re guessing he simply fell victim to the Shelly Long Curse (she was also in “Night Shift” with Henry Winkler, you know). Although he still gets a decent film role once in awhile, such as his appearance in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” most of his movie work tends to be for the straight-to-video market. As a result, Bernsen has mostly stuck to TV, having since had regular roles on “The Cape,” “JAG,” “Cuts” and, most recently, “Psych.”

David Caruso

First Big TV Role: Detective John Kelly, “NYPD Blue” (1993 to 1994)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1995’s “Kiss of Death.” Caruso plays an ex-con who tries to go straight but, shockingly, fails. (To be fair, he’s blackmailed into participating in a heist, with a friend’s life hanging in the balance if he refuses.)
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1995’s “Jade.” Yes, that’s right, Hollywood made very quick work of our Mr. Caruso. But, honestly, if you can’t get people to come to your movie when it’s an erotic thriller written by the guy responsible for “Basic Instinct” and “Sliver” (Joe Eszterhas) and directed by William Friedkin (“The Exorcist,” “The French Connection”), it’s clear you don’t have the stuff.
What Happened Next: After racking up several straight-to-video spectaculars (“Cold Around the Heart,” “Session 9”) and having his only theatrical success come via a co-starring role in the Meg Ryan / Russell Crowe flick, “Proof of Life,” Caruso wisely retreated back to the comfort of the medium that he’d dismissed so quickly. As Lt. Horatio Caine on “CSI: Miami,” Caruso has officially earned himself the title of “The Jack Lord of the New Millennium,” which looks a hell of a lot better on a résumé than “The Dumbass Who Foolishly Left ‘NYPD Blue’ After Only One Season Because He Thought He Could Make It In The Movies.”

Courtney Cox

First Big TV Role: Monica Geller, “Friends” (1994 to 2004)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1996’s “Scream.” Cox played nosy tabloid reporter Gale Weathers, in a role which she would reprise for the film’s two sequels.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 2006’s “Zoom.” But, c’mon, does anyone star in a film with Tim Allen and Chevy Chase with the expectations that it’s going to lead to a long and prosperous cinematic career?
What Happened Next: Cox probably saw the writing on the wall back in 2001, when she took a stab at something besides a “Scream” film (no pun intended) and watched “3,000 Miles to Graceland” bomb in a big way. One suspects that it was somewhere in the midst of filming “Zoom” that she decided to cut her losses and return to television. She can take some solace in the fact that her new small-screen home is at least on cable, and now that FX has picked up her series, “Dirt,” for a second season, she’s probably breathing a little easier these days.

Tim Daly

First Big TV Role: Joe Hackett, “Wings” (1990 to 1997)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1992’s “Year of the Comet,” an undeservedly unsuccessful action-romance flick about a rare bottle of wine which often brought to mind “Romancing the Stone.” Frankly, we blame its box office failure on the fact that Daly sported a mustache in the film.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1995’s “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde,” where Daly turns into Sean Young, and we’re not talking metaphorically. We’re also not talking about a funny film, despite the fact that it shows up on Comedy Central all the time.
What Happened Next: Daly scored co-starring roles in a couple of high-profile comedies (“The Associate,” “The Object of My Affection”), along with a headlining role in a well-reviewed straight-to-video feature called “Seven Girlfriends.” But his face has found its way back to television far more often with short-lived series like “Eyes” and a new version of “The Fugitive,” as well as an impressive stint on “The Sopranos.” He also gave voice to the Man of Steel in the late ‘90s “Superman” animated series. Despite his post-“Wings” track record for quickly cancelled shows, Daly’s now gotten himself a role in the new “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off, “Private Practice,” which means that his future looks pretty secure for the time being.

Ted Danson

First Big TV Role: Sam Malone, “Cheers” (1982 to 1993)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1986’s “A Fine Mess.” Ted Danson + Howie Mandel = hilarity! Say, did anyone get an actual mathematician to check the studio’s figures on that equation?
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1994’s “Pontiac Moon,” a nice family-oriented film that actually might served as a kick-start to Danson’s movie career if it had actually gotten a decent theatrical release. Oh, well, at least it served to introduce him to Mary Steenburgen. (The two married the following year.)
What Happened Next: In 1996, Danson and Steenburgen took to the small screen together, starring in the short-lived sitcom, “Ink.” Two years later, however, Danson had a more successful run as the grumpy title character in “Becker,” which lasted from 1998 to 2004. There were small film roles in “Saving Private Ryan” and “Mumford,” but Danson’s clearly a TV guy. While it’s best not to dwell on last year’s “Help Me, Help You,” he’s still got his recurring role on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as himself, and he’s now kicking ass on FX’s “Damages” as Arthur Frobisher. Yes, those will do nicely.

Tony Danza

First Big TV Role: Tony Banta, “Taxi” (1978 to 1983)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1981’s “Going Ape,” where Danza plays a guy whose circus-owning father dies and leaves him $5 million, with the caveat that he has to adopt his father’s three favorite orangutans.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1986’s “She’s Out of Control,” where Danza plays a father who’s obsessed with keeping his teenage daughter from growing up.
What Happened Next: To be fair, Danza’s efforts at big-screen stardom always seemed rather half-hearted, anyway. After “Taxi,” he went straight on to “Who’s The Boss,” which kept him pretty busy ‘til 1992; after that, he did one moderately successfully film – Disney’s remake of “Angels in the Outfield” – before trying his hand at series TV again. Since then, he’s done several guest appearances, been a staple of the talk-show circuit, and even had his own talk show; but his only big-screen role has been within the ensemble of “Crash.” Frankly, if we were betting men, we’d expect to see him try another sitcom within the next year or two. (It’s that or hosting a game show.)

David Duchovny

First Big TV Role: Fox Mulder, “The X-Files” (1993 to 2002)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1997’s “Playing God.” Duchovny plays Dr. Eugene Sands, a disgraced surgeon who becomes a “gun shot doctor” for a crime boss, and becomes romantically involved with the boss’ wife. Come on, Legs, forget about those amphetamines the doc is popping while holding the scalpel and hold still already, damn.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 2001’s “Evolution,” a.k.a. “Ivan Reitman’s Men in Black,” an $80 million alien comedy that sank like a stone.
What Happened Next: After wrapping up “The X-Files” and doing bit parts on “Sex and the City” and “Life with Bonnie,” along with a series of indie movies (“House of D,” “Trust the Man,” “The TV Set”), Duchovny recently returned to the small screen on the Showtime series “Californication” as Hank Moody, a writer who gets laid a lot. We have heard of this mythical writer who gets laid a lot, but we have yet to see one with our own eyes.

Sherilyn Fenn

First Big TV Role: Audrey Horne, “Twin Peaks” (1990 to 1991)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1992’s “Ruby.” Fenn plays Sheryl Ann “Candy Cane” DuJean, a dancer who works in the strip club owned by Jack Ruby.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: Two words: “Boxing Helena.” Julian Sands is a surgeon who’s obsessed with Fenn, so he kidnaps her, brings her to his mansion, and amputates her limbs so she can’t get away. Let’s face it: it would’ve killed anyone’s movie career.
What Happened Next: Frankly, Fenn’s fate was depressing. She’d had a solid turn in a remake of “Of Mice and Men,” done romantic comedy in “Three of Hearts,” and even slapstick in Carl Reiner’s “Fatal Instinct.” After “Boxing Helena,” though, it was straight to the straight-to-video market. Fortunately, in 1998, Fenn made a comeback on cable, starring in Showtime’s well-received “Rude Awakening” for three seasons; since then, she’s done several-episode stints on “Dawson’s Creek,” “Boston Public,” and “Gilmore Girls,” along with appearances on “Law & Order: SVU,” “The 4400,” “CSI: Miami” and “NCIS.”

Jennifer Love Hewitt

First Big TV Role: Sarah Reeves, “Party of Five” (1995 to 1999) / “Time of Your Life” (1999 to 2000)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1997’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Hewitt’s Julie James, along with three friends, accidentally run over a stranger in a car, then cover up the crime by throwing the stranger in the ocean. Stranger does not take well to their plan.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 2002’s “The Tuxedo,” where Hewitt is teamed up with Jackie Chan (!), a chauffeur who is forced to wear the gadget-loaded tuxedo (!!) belonging to a secret agent (!!!). Fun trivia fact: the agent Chan replaces is played by Jason Isaacs, who plays Death Eater Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” movies.
What Happened Next: After a couple of here-today-gone-today indie movies (“The Truth about Love,” “If Only”) and the plum role as Garfield’s veterinarian, Hewitt went TV movie-crazy, starring in a remake of “A Christmas Carol” and “Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber.” In 2005, she held the Seymour-esque role of Melinda Gordon, a.k.a. “The Ghost Whisperer,” and her movie career appears to be a distant memory, though we’re amused by the IMDb listing for a 2008 movie, presently titled, “She Had Brains, a Body, and the Ability to Make Men Love Her.” Love as a hooker? Hey, we can buy that a hell of a lot easier than we could buy her as Audrey Hepburn.

John Larroquette

First Big TV Role: Dan Fielding, “Night Court” (1984 to 1992)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1987’s “Blind Date.” Larroquette plays David Bedford, the insanely jealous ex-boyfriend of Nadia (Kim Basinger) who manages to ruin the life of Walter (Bruce Willis) in one night. “Blind Date” director Blake Edwards, you will soon discover, was responsible for the deaths of several aspiring movie careers.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1990’s “Madhouse,” where Larroquette and Kirstie Alley are inundated by house guests from Hell. Man, can’t you just smell the funny? Or, at least we smell something
What Happened Next: By the time “Night Court” wrapped, Larroquette had abandoned all hope for a prosperous movie career, and instead took the lead in a sitcom (the fittingly titled “John Larroquette Show”) for three seasons. He has since joined David Kelley’s happy family with roles on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal,” and is primed to be the new Matlock in the Hallmark Channel series “McBride.”

Lucy Liu

First Big TV Role: Ling Woo, “Ally McBeal” (1998 to 2002)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 2000’s “Shanghai Noon.” Liu plays the delightfully named Princess Pei Pei, who is kidnapped from the Forbidden City of China and must be rescued by Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 2007’s “Code Name: The Cleaner.” As one of the executive producers of the not-great Cedric the Entertainer action-comedy, Liu really has no one to blame but herself.
What Happened Next: It’s not like “The Cleaner” is the worst thing on her résumé – that honor surely goes to “Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever,” which killed her “Charlie’s Angels” momentum dead in its tracks – but you can’t say Liu didn’t try to salvage her film career after that horrific misstep. With solid roles in “Chicago” and the first “Kill Bill” flick, it really seemed like she might recover. Given, however, that she immediately followed “The Cleaner” with the announcement that she’d be starring in ABC’s “Cashmere Mafia,” it’s apparent that Liu has decided to go ahead and cut her losses. Or, at the very least, go back to playing to her strengths: romantic comedy.

Luke Perry

First Big TV Role: Dylan McKay, “Beverly Hills 90210” (1990 to 2000)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1992’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” where Perry played Oliver Pike, the town outcast who wins the heart of Buffy, a role not a million miles away from his “90210” guise.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1994’s “8 Seconds.” In this biopic, Perry played Lane Frost, 1987 PRCA Bull Riding World Champion. Unfortunately, audiences weren’t interested and, as a result, Hollywood stopped knocking.
What Happened Next: When Perry’s most popular zip code was retired, he began to change his image with a recurring role on HBO’s “Oz,” then shifted cable networks to star with Malcolm-Jamar Warner on Showtime’s “Jeremiah” for a few years. Since then, he starred in “Windfall,” the short-lived NBC drama about lottery winners, then moved back to HBO for “John in Cincinnati.” Unfortunately, “John” didn’t even last as long as “Windfall,” so it remains to be seen what the future holds for Perry; but we’d bet it’ll involve TV.

John Ritter

First Big TV Role: Jack Tripper, “Three’s Company” (1976 to 1984) / “Three’s A Crowd” (1984 to 1985)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1979’s “Americathon.” Ritter plays U.S. President Chet Roosevelt, who decides that the best way to bring the nation back from the brink of bankruptcy is to raise money with a telethon.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1989’s “Skin Deep,” a film remembered far more for a scene involved glow-in-the-dark condoms than anything Ritter added to it. This horrifying mental vision that you won’t be able to get out of your head for several hours – and you’re welcome, by the way – has been brought to you by Blake “Film Career Killer” Edwards.
What Happened Next: Ritter spent the next few years bouncing between mid-level TV successes (“Hooperman,” “Hearts Afire”) and slapstick comedies (“Stay Tuned,” the “Problem Child” flicks). Beyond a surprising cinematic turn in “Sling Blade,” however, his most notable mid-‘90s work came from guest-starring on TV series like “Scrubs,” “Felicity,” “NewsRadio” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Ritter eventually returned full-time to the small screen, voicing the title character in “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and headlining “8 Simple Rules,” before his untimely death in 2003 at the age of 54.

Tom Selleck

First Big TV Role: Thomas Magnum, “Magnum, P.I.” (1980 to 1988)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1983’s “High Road to China.” Selleck plays a hard-drinking 1920s bi-plane pilot who’s hired by a spoiled society girl to find her missing father.
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: 1992’s “Folks,” where Selleck shaved his trademark moustache and tried to make senility seem funny. Needless to say, he failed.
What Happened Next: After the slight but enjoyable “Mr. Baseball” later in the year (by this point, he’d learned his lesson and re-grown his moustache), Selleck took a break for a few years, then did a few TV movies: “Broken Trust,” “Ruby Jean and Joe” and “Last Stand at Saber River.” This was before scoring his highly memorable stint on “Friends” as Monica’s boyfriend, Dr. Richard Burke. Since then, Selleck’s pretty much kept his eye on the small screen, rarely venturing into theaters (and even then only for small but valuable roles, like Peter Malloy in “In & Out”), but given his new gig on “Las Vegas” on NBC and his regular “Jesse Stone” TV movies on CBS, he’s got more work than he can handle, anyway.

Jimmy Smits

First Big TV Role: Victor Sifuentes, “L.A. Law” (1986 to 1992)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1989’s “Old Gringo,” where Smits plays a Mexican revolutionary general who kidnaps a schoolteacher (Jane Fonda).
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: Blake Edwards’ trapped-in-a-woman’s-body comedy “Switch,” (1991) which makes Smits the third person on our list whose movie career Edwards effectively ruined.
What Happened Next: After a Stephen King adaptation (“The Tommyknockers”) and a movie starring a very young and extremely naked Naomi Watts (“Gross Misconduct”), Smits took on the role of Detective Bobby Simone on “N.Y.P.D. Blue,” replacing, yep, David Caruso.

Henry Winkler

First Big TV Role: Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli, “Happy Days” (1974 to 1984)
First Attempt to Make the Jump: 1977’s “Heroes.” Winkler played Jack Dunne, a Vietnam vet who pursues his dream of starting a worm farm with four of his former comrades from the ‘Nam – one of whom was played by Harrison Ford – while courting Carol (Sally Field).
When We Realized It Was Never Gonna Happen: When 1982’s “Night Shift” made a star out of Michael Keaton but not Winkler.
What Happened Next: Winkler stepped behind the camera for a while, producing “Young Sherlock Holmes,” executive-producing “The Sure Thing,” and directing “Cop and a Half” and “Memories of Me.” Eventually, however, he found his way back to on-camera success, making memorable appearances in “Scream” and “The Waterboy.” He also headlined the short-lived sitcoms “Monty” and “Out of Practice,” but his best TV role in recent memory came via “Arrested Development,” where he played Bluth family attorney Barry Zuckerkorn. (He’s no Bob Boblaw, of course…but, then, who is?)

TV Transitions Hall of Fame

starClint Eastwood

Big TV Role: Rowdy Yates, “Rawhide” (1959 to 1965)
Breakthrough Film Role: Joe, “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Dirty Harry” (1971)

starMichael Douglas

Big TV Role: Inspector Steve Keller, “Streets of San Francisco” (1972 to 1976)
Breakthrough Film Role: Dr. Mark Bellows, “Coma” (1978)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Romancing the Stone” (1984)

starTom Hanks

Big TV Role: Kip Wilson / Buffy Wilson, “Bosom Buddies” (1980 to 1981)
Breakthrough Film Role: Allen Bauer, “Splash” (1984)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Philadelphia” (1993)

starDenzel Washington

Big TV Role: Dr. Philip Chandler, “St. Elsewhere” (1982 to 1988)
Breakthrough Film Role: Steve Biko, “Cry Freedom” (1987)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Malcolm X” (1992)

starJohnny Depp

Big TV Role: Officer Tom Hanson, “21 Jump Street” (1987 to 1990)
Breakthrough Film Role: Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker, “Cry-Baby” (1990)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Sleepy Hollow” (1999)

starLeonardo DiCaprio

Big TV Role: Luke Brower, “Growing Pains” (1991 to 1992)
Breakthrough Film Role: Tobias 'Toby' Wolff, “This Boy’s Life” (1993)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Titanic” (1997)

starJim Carrey

Big TV Role: “In Living Color” (1990 to 1994)
Breakthrough Film Role: Ace Ventura, “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (1994)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Liar Liar” (1997)

starGeorge Clooney

Big TV Role: Dr. Doug Ross, “E.R.” (1994 to 2000)
Breakthrough Film Role: Seth Gecko, “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn” (1996)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001)

starWill Ferrell

Big TV Role: “Saturday Night Live” (1995 to 2002)
Breakthrough Film Role: Frank Ricard, “Old School” (2003)
The Point of No Return (to TV): “Elf” (2003)

starJohn Travolta

Big TV Role: Vinnie Barbarino, “Welcome Back, Kotter” (1975 to 1979)
Breakthrough Film Role: Tony Manero, “Saturday Night Fever” (1977)
The First Point of No Return (to TV): “Urban Cowboy” (1980)
When We Started Getting Nervous: “Perfect” (1985)
When We Started Getting Really Nervous: “The Experts” (1989)
When We Started Getting Really, Really Nervous: “Look Who’s Talking Now” (1993)
The Second Point of No Return (to TV): “Pulp Fiction” (1994)
Oh, No, Not Again: “Battlefield: Earth” (2000)
Latest Career-Saving Role: “Hairspray” (2007)
Latest Reason We’re Still Not Completely Ruling Out “Sweathogs: The Next Generation:” “Lonely Hearts” (2007)

TV Transitions Hall of Fame

Nathan Fillion

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” “Firefly.” “Drive.” Television hasn’t been too kind to Nathan Fillion over the past few years, but he’s definitely been kind to it. Here’s hoping he gets the call up to the majors sooner rather than later, because a recurring gig on “Desperate Housewives” isn’t exactly what we’d call progress.

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman has been trying to make the jump to the big screen since the late ‘80s, so what makes his chances that much better now? A Golden Globe for one, and proof that he can dabble in drama as well as comedy. Goofy cameos are a thing of the past for the former “Hogan Family” regular, and though Bateman will never quite be leading man material, we’re confident he’ll be a big-screen staple within the year.

John Krasinski

It doesn’t take much to make a splash in TV Land, but it certainly helps when you’re a relative unknown starring in a hit show like “The Office.” We’ve seen Krasinski do his best impression of Martin Freeman for three years now, though, and while his movie credits aren’t exactly print-worthy (“License to Wed”), the fact that he was handpicked by George Clooney for his next gig is proof enough that he’s as good as we say he is.

Jenna Fischer

Jenna Fischer is a completely different monster from her “Office” co-star. Less concerned with choosing good movie roles and more with just getting her name out there, she’s unknowingly become a member of the Frat Pack overnight. Considering they’re in desperate need of a few women who can hold their own against the likes of Will Ferrell and Jack Black, though, it’s clear that Fischer has a future in comedy.

Lauren Graham

Now that “Gilmore Girls” is off the air, the time couldn’t be better for Graham to claim the shot at silver screen stardom that’s rightfully owed her. Let’s just hope that the relative failure of “Evan Almighty” doesn’t do any lasting damage to her chances of success.

Tim Allen

After the three “Santa Clause” films provided a series of diminishing returns, and flicks like “Christmas with the Kranks” and “Zoom” still fresh in our minds, better Allen should start shopping for a new sitcom than count on “Wild Hogs 2.”

Elisha Cuthbert

It’s not like anyone’s chomping at the bit to see Kim Bauer return to “24” again; in fact, we’ve gotten the impression that most people cringe when they see her name in the credits. But, really, if it’ll save us from films like “House of Wax” and “Captivity,” isn’t it worth it in the long run?

Jennifer Garner

“13 Going On 30” does not a movie career make, but a couple more films like “Catch and Release” could kill one stone dead. We’re not putting money on it, but we’re thinking Garner will re-don the role of Sydney Bristow again by, say, 2010.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Let’s just be clear about this: you left one of the best-written and strongest-developed female roles in recent television history in order to do really crappy horror films. So just flip to the “W” page in your address book and tell Joss you made a mistake. He’s a great guy; he’ll forgive you.

Ashton Kutcher

We admit it: we laughed at “Dude, Where’s My Car.” But “Just Married,” “My Boss’s Daughter,” and “A Lot Like Love” tickled our gag reflex rather than our funny bone, and the semi-success of “Guess Who” and “The Guardian” owed more to Kutcher’s co-stars than they did to him. Do we smell a “Punk’d” revival in the offing?

Jon Heder

Hold your arms out as far as you can. Whatever your wing span, it’s twice the size of Heder’s acting range. Bad for the movies, but perfect for a sitcom.

Ben Affleck

CBS has made superstars out of actors with half of Affleck’s range and none of his charisma (ahem, Anthony LaPaglia). There is no reason they couldn’t do the same for Mr. Sydney Bristow.

Christian Slater

“Mindhunters,” the Uwe Boll movie “Alone in the Dark” and a video sequel to “Hollow Man” were three of his higher profile roles of late. Frankly, we’re surprised Slater hasn’t called Dick Wolf by now to get keys to the “Law & Order” kingdom.

Cameron Diaz

Her two biggest roles over the last seven years have been a Charlie’s Angel and an animated princess. The writing is on the wall, Fiona: time to steal from Patricia Arquette and Kyra Sedgwick’s playbooks.

Christina Ricci

Wednesday Addams already greased these tracks with stints on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ally McBeal,” and we’re guessing that she hasn’t forgotten the steady paycheck that comes with TV work. It has to beat the hell out of making movies like “Cursed” and “Home of the Brave” until the next “Speed Racer” comes along.

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