10 famous film directors that helmed TV shows 4 years ago

10 famous film directors that helmed TV shows

Seen any of these episodes?

The last decade has seen some incredible TV produced with shows like The Wire, The West Wing and Game of Thrones redefining the medium. The boundaries between traditional cinema and TV are becoming less noticeable as plenty of Hollywood stars have flocked to the smaller screen in pursuit of dramatic roles and powerful storytelling.

It's not just actors that have made this transition though because there has also been some very famous directors leaving their indelible mark with TV audiences.

Nearly every director will have started off working on a TV show but here are 10 filmmakers that returned to the medium at the height of their fame.

Quentin Tarantino

TV shows directed: ER: S1, E24 - Motherhood and CSI: Grave Danger.

Synopsis: The Pulp Fiction director has never kept his love of ER on the Q.T, in fact, he actively campaigned for the gig behind the camera. Take a look as Tarantino brings his unique visual style to Chicago's County General Hospital.

With regards to his work on CSI, it's easy to see why the material appealed to the Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill creator. Kidnapping, violence, people being buried alive and a ransom gone wrong. Standard Tarantino stuff.

David Fincher

TV shows directed: House Of Cards - Chapter One and Two

Plot: It's no surprise that Frank Underwood's ascent up the ladder of US politics seemed so assured and engrossing because the genius who made Fight Club, Se7en and The Social Network was the key man in developing the show.

The opening episodes set the wheels in motion as congressman Frank Underwood begins to plot his revenge after missing out on the chair for Secretary of State. Elsewhere, Zoe Barnes, a reporter for the Washington Herald, seems like she's willing to do anything to get her big break.

House of Cards is a huge favourite of ours and if you haven't seen it yet then we urge you to do so.


Rian Johnson

TV shows directed: Breaking Bad - Ozymandias, Fifty-One and Fly.

Plot: Johnson made his name with the wonderful high school noir/murder mystery Brick and he built on this success with Looper and The Brothers Bloom. There's one thing though stands out on his C.V. The man responsible for the upcoming Star Wars : Episode VIII has directed two of the greatest episodes of TV from the last decade.

Who can forget Walt and Jesse talking about their tumultuous relationship while trying to catch an elusive fly in their meth lab?  The stylistic touches in that episode were brilliant but the drama paled in comparison to 'that' phone call between Walt and Skyler.


Neil Marshall

TV shows directed: Game of Thrones - Blackwater and Watchers on the Wall.

Plot: The Dog Soldiers, Descent and Centurion director is quite active in the TV world, he also filmed episodes for Black Sails, Constantine and Hannibal, but it's his bloody brilliant work (emphasis on the bloody here) in Westeros that's most famous with TV lovers.

Tyrion's heroic defence of King's Landing from the invading fleet of Stannis Baratheon was one of G.O.T's most action packed episodes, that was until we saw Jon Snow doing what he does best, leading the Night's Watch and defending The Wall at all costs.

It's not Jon though that features in our most memorable scene from that episode.


Bryan Singer

TV shows directed: House - Pilot and Occam's Razor

Plot: It's remarkable to think that 21 years have passed since the world was introduced to Keyser Söze but Singer hasn't exactly been living off the success of his smash-hit breakthrough.

Four X-Men films, Superman Returns and Valkyrie are just some of his other notable work but the TV public absolutely adored House, a show he produced and directed.

We still miss the grumpy, sarcastic and maverick doctor.

Hugh laurie

J.J Abrams

TV show directed: The Office, Cocktails.

Plot: The list of talent that's directed episodes of The Office is phenomenal - Harold Ramis, Marc Webb, Jon Favreau, Jason Reitman and Bryan Cranston are just some of the guest directors - but J.J Abrams is unique because everything that he does seems to be shrouded in mystery and interest.

The director of Mission Impossible III, Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens made his name in TV with Felicity, Lost and Alias but he took a break from action epics to direct the episode where Michael and Jan go to their first Dunder Mifflin outing as an official couple.


Guillermo del Toro

TV shows directed: The Strain, BK, NY and Night Zero.

Plot: The Oscar nominated director of Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone and Hellboy has about 1,234,890 titles that are currently in development, he's easily one of the busiest men in Hollywood, but he somehow managed to find the time to adapt the book that he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan.

The show is now in its third season and has proven to be a cult-favourite. Vampires and fans alike seem like they're very happy to take a bite out of The Strain.

John Crowley

TV shows directed: True Detective, S2 - Omega Station and Other Lives

Plot: 2015 was a busy year for the Corkonain with Brooklyn charming audiences and critics alike but he also got a huge break in the US when he was chosen to direct two episodes of the eagerly anticipated show.

Season 2 of True Detective was weak in comparison to the adventures of Rust and Cohle but it did have its moments, Colin Farrell's performance and the Michael Mann-esque shootout being two of them, but Crowley's assured direction will only see his stock rise in the US.

True Detective Guns

Michael Mann

TV show directed: Luck, Pilot

Plot: Speaking of the Heat, Collateral and Ali director, he was behind the lens for the pilot episode of this Dustin Hoffman led series that centered around characters that are tied to the same horse-racing track.

Martin Scorsese

TV shows directed: Where to begin? One of the greatest directors of all-time has worked on Boardwalk Empire, Vinyl and made the superb music documentaries like The Blues, No Direction Home and George Harrison: Living in the Material World.

Even at the age of 73, the director of Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Departed seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. Long may this continue.

Martin Scorsese