Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to take the leading role in the BBC Two political thriller miniseries "The Honourable Woman," which will make its U.S. television debut on the Sundance Channel next year.
An original drama in eight parts, "The Honourable Woman" stars Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein, the daughter of a Zionist who, years after his assassination, finds herself embroiled in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She must grapple with the political fallout of her father's murder and temper the storm created by her rise to power in British parliament.
Gyllenhaal, an Oscar nominee for 2010's "Crazy Heart," joins a recent crop of quality film actors emigrating their careers to the small screen and abroad. It was announced earlier this week that American actor Paul Giamatti will head to the U.K. for a role in BBC's "Downton Abbey," joining returning guest star Shirley MacLaine. This year, television audiences have also seen actor Gillian Anderson in the gripping British nail-biter "The Fall," and Emmy hopeful Elisabeth Moss in the rapturously praised, brilliant BBC co-production "Top of the Lake." Jane Campion's seven-part murder mystery also debuted in the U.S. on Sundance Channel following a screening at the festival in January.
As more and more prominent big screen actors shift their careers to television, it has become harder to dispute recent claims made by directors such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and David Lynch that TV is indeed outweighing film in terms of quality and output. Even filmmakers are making a splash on the small screen, as we've seen with Steven Soderbergh and his HBO film "Behind the Candelabra," as well as his upcoming Cinemax series "The Knick."