This photo released by Showtime shows Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler in season 1 of "Penny Dreadful." (AP Photo/Showtime, Jonathan Hession)
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A big reason film actors are drawn to TV is that it offers the sort of character-driven projects found less and less in a movie world tilted toward blockbusters.That's partly why Josh Hartnett jumped into "Penny Dreadful," an eight-part series debuting Sunday on Showtime (10 p.m. EDT) as part of a free preview weekend. Hartnett also appreciated the guarantee that the project would be marketed and presented to an audience, something he's become painfully aware isn't always the case with independent films.Hartnett's profile was reduced as some films suffered spotty or delayed releases.The foremost attraction for Hartnett was working with creator-executive producer John Logan, a Tony Award-winner for "Red" and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter whose credits include "Gladiator," "Hugo" and "Skyfall," and executive producer Sam Mendes, the "American Beauty" Oscar-winning director.Showtime's version finds renowned and rich explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and the mysterious Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) in the hunt for a monstrous killer.
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