Monday, July 15, 2024

Julia Roberts, Once Top Female Draw, Makes Move To Television as Box Office Declines


It’s happened to many, many movie stars in the past. Time has caught up to Julia Roberts. Once the reigning star of the big screen, she’s heading to television.

Roberts has signed to make a limited TV series for Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Productions. It’s Roberts’ first test of getting into TV, and at least she’s signed with a hot company known for quality product. Annapurna will then field offers from HBO, Showtime, Amazon, Netflix and so on.

For Julia, it’s inevitable as she heads into her 50s that TV in some form is her future. Many actresses have made the transition a triumph. Candice Bergen is the best example, with “Murphy Brown.” Bergen won many Emmys and made a small fortune with her show. And she was never the box office draw that Roberts was in the 90s.

But now Roberts has had to face facts. Her last real ‘hit’ movies were in 2010– “Eat Pray Love” and “Valentine’s Day.” She had an enormous run of $100 million movies ending with “Erin Brockovich” in 2000 and an Oscar for Best Actress. After that her biggest successes were in ensemble pieces like the “Oceans’ Eleven” series. Her last film, “Money Monster,” with George Clooney, was a disaster at $41 million. (By the way– where is George Clooney? I kind of miss him. Your break is over, George!)

Lots of stars are signing up for TV shows and mini series including Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore. But for Roberts, this is a smart career move. If Viola Davis can be in a TV series and still get Oscar nominations, I say follow that example!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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