Kevin Bacon has spoken about his decision to star in TV series The Following saying that TV has undergone a renaissance which caused his focus to shift.

The actor, who is known for his iconic roles in Mystic River, Sleepers, Footloose and Murder in the First, was initially apprehensive about starring in a TV drama as he felt it would be a step down from being a movie star.

He explained to Deadline, "TV has undergone a renaissance, but when I started that just was not the perception. So it was a very difficult decision. Most of it was clouded by my own snobbery. There was a directive among my representation to never, ever come to me with a television show because I would perceive that as a vote of no confidence, and it would anger me.

"And then my focus started to shift. I started to think about all the shows that I was watching and consuming over an entire weekend – The Sopranos, The Wire, Dexter, Six Feet Under. I was seeing iconic performances, not the least of which with [wife] Kyra [Sedgwick] and seeing her life in the seven years she was on [The Closer]."

Bacon continued to say, "I went, 'Why am I being such an a*****? Why not? What I really love to do is act. Why not put yourself in a situation where you have a greater chance and more time in front of the camera, over the course of months – years, if you're lucky?' I threw my hat into the ring and said, 'Ok, I'm open to this idea now'.

"In the next two weeks I read three or four of the best scripts I'd ever read. Pilots. And I thought, I really have been missing out."

Bacon is currently starring in The Following as FBI agent Ryan Hardy as he tries to track down cult-leader and serial killer Joe Carroll, played by James Purefoy.