Markowitz made the transition to dramatic films producing the docudrama Song of Myself (1976), about the poet Walt Whitman; and directing and producing With All Deliberate Speed (1976), about the Supreme Court and the desegregation of Southern schools, The 34th Star (1974), about the early history of Kansas. Since 1976, when he began direct movies for television he has directed over 30 films, including The Deadliest Season (1977); A Long Way Home (1981); The Wall (1982); Kojak: The Belarus Files (1985); Decoration Day (1990); Too Young to Die (1990), Afterburn (1992); David (1997) and, most recently, Avenger (2006).
Decoration Day won 1990 Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Movie and Best Actor, and was nominated for six Emmys, including Best Director. Afterburn was nominated for three Emmys and CableAce Awards in five categories in 1992, including Best Picture and Best Director. In 1996, he was nominated for a DGA Award for his work on the television movie The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), which also won a Peabody Award, two Image Awards, and was nominated for ten Emmys (winning three).
Markowitz also directed the feature film Voices (1979) and several miniseries including Murder in the Heartland (1993) and A Dangerous Life (1988). He worked on such episodic series as Serpico (1976) and Amazing Stories (1986), as well as the movies for television Nicholas' Gift (1998), winner of the 1999 Christopher Award; The Great Gatsby (2000); and The Big Heist (2001).
Robert Markowitz has served on the Guild's Television Creative Rights Committee and co-chaired the DGA's Movies for Television Directors Committee. He also served as an Alternate on the Guild's Western Directors Council from 2005 to 2009.