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Meryl Streep (Meryl Streep!) Is Heading to TV

Which too-famous-for-TV movie stars will follow her? We have a few guesses.

Getty Images/Ringer illustration
Getty Images/Ringer illustration

OK: Now movies are dead. The news broke Thursday that Meryl Streep, star of cinema and also of The Giver, has made the Sophie’s choice (if Sophie’s choice was super easy and J.J. Abrams was shaking her like, “Sophieee, dooooo ittttt, no one caaaaares, I’ll pay you”) to jump over to TV. Streep will be starring in a limited series based on the novel The Nix with Abrams — Lost, Felicity, glasses — onboard to direct.

And not to be sensational, but to be sensational: Meryl Streep is really the last TV “holdout” that matters. Sure, it will be cool when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sign on for a 30-episode You’re the Worst rip-off in three years — but who will possibly care? Meryl Streep is doing TV.


That, for me, is the line in the sand. If Meryl is doing it, then no one else doing it is news. The rest, as someone probably says in a really good Meryl Streep movie, is history.

And history is for history books. But books are dead too, so I guess it’s for blog posts. Here is a rough timeline of the future of the end of movies (and honestly, fuck movies. Except for Narcos. That’s a movie, right?):


Matthew McConaughey stars in True Detective, an HBO drama from showrunner Nic Pizzolatto.


The Rock stars in Ballers, an HBO comedy from showrunner Evan Reilly.


Jennifer Lopez stars in Shades of Blue, an NBC drama from showrunner Jack Orman.


Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman star in Big Little Lies, an HBO miniseries from showrunner David E. Kelley.


Meryl Streep stars in The Nix, a drama from director J.J. Abrams.


Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence star in Knock, Knock, an ABC drama from showrunner David O. Russell about Thomas and Melissa Knock, the father and daughter who invented the “knock-knock” joke.


Liam Neeson stars in Wheel of Fuck, a Starz drama from showrunner Oliver Stone about a beloved game show host dealing with a crippling sex addiction.


George Clooney stars in Cat Got Your Tongue, a sprawling AMC miniseries from showrunner Jason Reitman about a flashy trial lawyer who is forced to win the case of his life while only being able to make cat noises.


Denzel Washington and Cate Blanchett star in Crying Jordan, a USA drama from the genius mind of Christopher Nolan about the meme that threatens to end the world and the two NASA scientists who are sent back in time — to stop Michael Jordan from crying — in order to save it.


Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara star in Jeans, an HBO drama from acclaimed director Sofia Coppola about America’s 1950s jeans boom.


Christian Bale stars in Women, a modern update on Little Women from the brilliant mind of Paul Thomas Anderson. Told from the perspective of Laurie (Bale), now a playboy hedge-fund manager living in present-day New York, Women is an eight-part miniseries airing on FXX.


Tom Hanks and Miles Teller star in Dad to the Bone, a Fox comedy from showrunner Robert Zemeckis about a world-renowned archaeologist (Hanks) who unearths his greatest discovery yet: He’s a father.


Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Jennifer Aniston star in Friends, a Netflix comedy from showrunner Nancy Meyers about six 20-something friends living in Manhattan.


Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in Good Boys, a gritty adaptation of Bad Boys from showrunner Michael Bay. Told from the radical perspective that they’re good boys instead of bad boys, the action-comedy is an eight-hour-long episode series on HBO.


Daniel Day-Lewis and Sandra Bullock star in Red Light, an NBC procedural from Dick Wolf about true-crime traffic violations and the lives that hang in the balance.


Leonardo DiCaprio stars in General, a TNT crime drama from showrunner Quentin Tarantino inspired by the classic characters of General Mills cereal. Told from the perspective of Luck “Lucky the Leprechaun” Hanson (DiCaprio), now retired and living out his days in Miami as a P.I., the series costars Joaquin Phoenix as Terrence “Tricks the Rabbit” Ricks.


Anne Hathaway stars in Better, a CW dramedy from showrunner Greg Berlanti about Anne Sanders, a famous movie star who suddenly gains the superpower of being better than everyone else.


Jaden Smith stars in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, a Netflix comedy from showrunner Will Smith about a teenager from Philadelphia sent by his mother to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Bel-Air.


Tom Cruise dies at 125, having never seen a television.

An earlier version of this piece incorrectly identified the network that airs the show Shades of Blue. It is NBC, not ABC.