"At that time, when you did television, they thought you were out of the business," admits Caan, whose role in The Godfather earned him an Oscar nomination. "I turned [Brian's Song] down four times because of that stigma, which I think is all baloney. I think it's terrible."

Caan points out that one of the reasons more and more film actors are being drawn to the boob tube — particularly cable — is the quality of the work. "Selfishly, I feel that I [have a chance to] act," he confesses. "They're doing stories that are character-driven, story-driven... they're [not] hanging me from some wire behind some green screen."

It's that level of excellence that attracted Caan to Hell, which tells the story of the Navy's botched and homophobia-ridden investigation into the tragic 1989 explosion aboard the USS Iowa in which 47 sailors were killed. Caan plays the real-life commander who initially accepted the Navy's findings that the explosion was the result of murder/suicide plot by one of the ship's supposedly gay sailors. "I didn't see him as being anybody evil," he says of Captain Fred Moosally. "He was neither good nor bad — he was Navy."