Markowitz made the transition to dramatic films producing the docudrama Song of Myself (1976) about the poet Walt Whitman; then directing and producing With All Deliberate Speed (1976), about the Supreme Court and the desegregation of Southern schools, as well as The 34th Star (1974) about the early history of Kansas. Since 1976, when he began directing movies for television, Markowitz 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); The Great Gatsby (2000); The Big Heist (2001); and most recently, Avenger (2006). Markowitz also directed the feature film Voices (1979) and several mini-series including Murder in the Heartland (1993) and A Dangerous Life (1988), as well as episodic series like Serpico (1976) and Amazing Stories (1986).
Decoration Day garnered 1990 Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Movie and Best Actor, and was nominated for six Emmys®, including Best Director. In 1992, Afterburn was nominated for three Emmys® and CableAce Awards in five categories, including Best Picture and Best Director. In 1996, Markowitz 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 ten Emmy® nominations (winning three).
Robert Markowitz has served on the Guild's Television Creative Rights Committee and has 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.