Movies and television, despite the fact that both are mediums where actors reenacting usually fictional scenarios are recorded on cameras and screened for rapt audiences, are not the same. They’re completely different mechanisms for storytelling — one is obviously longer than the other, with more of an emphasis on character and story evolution, while the other tells an immediately compelling plot in a more economical amount of time. All those people back in the day who kept talking about how Game of Thrones is just a “long movie” were talking nonsense.

That doesn’t mean that the two can’t cross over. Plenty of famous filmmakers and movie stars got their start in television, and plenty of actors and directors have moved from film to TV when their careers needed something longer lasting, or they were interested in telling the kinds of stories that can’t be condensed into just two hours. It’s always kind of exciting when film people jump to television, either for the rest of their careers or because they just wanted to try out something different.

For this list, we’ve chosen ten TV shows created, run, or directed by filmmakers, either at the start of their careers or in their prime. These shows span genres, anything from surrealist horror to medical procedural period pieces, school-set dramas and heady sci-fi parables. The only thing any of these have in common is that they were led by people most famous for their films, who nonetheless hopped over to the other side when the story called for it.

10 TV Shows Created By Filmmakers

It’s always kind of exciting when film people jump to television, either for the rest of their careers or because they just wanted to try out something different. 

Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

READ MORE: 15 TV Shows That Shared Sets Without Anyone Noticing

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Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky