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PASADENA, CA -- Billy Bob Thornton says actors who want to work on sophisticated projects are finding them in television and not film.

He's proving the point with a starring role in the upcoming FX series "Fargo," inspired by the 1996 Joel and Ethan Coen movie.

Thornton told a Television Critics Association meeting Tuesday that while Hollywood studios churn out action movies and broad comedies, TV offers the kind of insightful work once common in films.

He says that's why peers like Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid and Kevin Bacon have turned to television.

"Fargo" also stars Martin Freeman of "Sherlock" and the "Hobbit" films. It debuts in April on FX.