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In this day and age, if you don’t have your own prestige streaming series, you’re nobody–and Billy Crystal is not nobody. He’s hosted the Academy Awards a historic nine times! He’s the voice of Mike Wazowski! He’s Harry freakin’ Burns, for goodness sake!
Lest we get carried away, yes, Crystal is entering the streaming era with his new limited series, Before, which was picked up by Apple TV+, according to Deadline. Crystal, who is also executive producing the show, will star as Eli, a child psychiatrist who recently lost his wife when he encounters a troubled young boy.
The series is written by Sarah Thorp (The Bounty Hunter) and will be directed by Barry Levinson, who worked with Crystal on Analyze That. Thorp, Levinson, Crystal, and Eric Roth are all set to executive produce. Per Deadline, other “details on the project, including the size of the order, are being finalized.”
In lieu of more details, let us recall that while Crystal is best known for the movies side of the biz (the aforementioned Oscars, iconic Pixar role, greatest rom-com of all time and etc.), he also has some suitably impressive television credits under his belt. He first rose to prominence on the late ’70s sitcom Soap as Jodie Dallas. He later became a cast member of Saturday Night Live for a brief but memorable period alongside Christopher Guest and Martin Short. More recently, he starred on The Comedians on FX with Josh Gad.
Crystal is currently starring on Broadway in Mr. Saturday Night, a musical based on his 1992 movie, so he’s properly booked and busy. But Apple TV+ is increasingly the home of the stars–Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Oldman, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Jared Leto, Anne Hathaway, the list goes on–so it’s unsurprising to see a legend like Billy Crystal join the ranks.