My gut reaction when learning that HBO is developing a comedy set in the Wall Street culture of the 1980s, fronted by big name talents Rob Riggle, Mark Wahlberg, and Will Ferrell (along with big-in-comedy circles names Adam McKay and Chris Henchy) was, "Sounds pretty good, will definitely check it out when it makes air."
Then I mulled for a moment, and the bigger picture thought came along: television is now every bit as important than film.
I actually grew up in the 1980s (a fact that increasingly makes me sound and feel old), and beyond the coke-fueled hedonism (which for me was more like a boring and pretty sheltered existence out in the suburbs of Long Island, New York) I recall an era when television stars routinely "graduated" from the small screen to the silver, never to return… unless their careers had taken a hard and tawdry turn.
In essence, television was considered a minor leagues of sorts, even if one that tens of millions tuned into nightly on a far more limited channel lineup than is available today.
Even if Ferrell (Land of the Lost) and Wahlberg (Planet of the Apes) make a disastrous flick here and there, they are both bona fide A Listers, while Riggle is no slouch himself, having nailed small but notable roles in a number of recent films in addition to his work on The Daily Show.
It's obvious that in addition to the resources and relative reach of the broadcast networks, premium channels such as HBO and Showtime and prestige niche networks such as AMC and FX are attracting every bit of the talent that's on offer at your local multiplex.