Julia Roberts has been giving audiences reasons to laugh, cry and [all other emotional reactions] for decades now, but the only place it happens with any amount of regularity is on the big screen. Thankfully, the actress is going to bolster her limited television work in a huge way, as she has been tapped to lead a limited TV series based on the dramatic novel Today Will Be Different. It sounds like the perfect project for her, too.
These are the earliest days for Today Will Be Different, as Julia Roberts signed on for the drama as part of Annapurna Pictures securing the rights to the novel, which is the latest release from author and TV scribe Maria Semple. This will be the first television project for Annapurna's new small screen banner, which has former HBO suit Sue Naegle at the head. No network is attached at this point, but if Naegle kept good relationships there, Today Will Be Different could follow in HBO's long line of dramas fronted by giant movie stars.
For Today Will Be Different, Julia Roberts will play Eleanor Flood, who wakes up one morning with a head full of ambitions and assumptions for how amazing her day will go. Unfortunately, things do not go so swell at all, with everything Eleanor is hoping for getting flipped around, and big secrets are allowed to rise up to the surface. Over the years, Roberts has dealt with myriad cinematic problems - somebody whisper Mary Reilly - but she's arguably best when the world around her is at its most grounded like it will be here.
Though it's a drama, Today Will Be Different does not skimp on the hilarious and awkward situations while telling Eleanor's story, which plays to Julia Roberts' strengths. And viewers won't have to worry about there being a creative conflict in the adaptation process, as author Maria Semple will be the one penning the scripts for the series, according to THR. Semple, a former writer/producer on shows like Arrested Development and Mad About You, also has her debut novel Where'd You Go Bernadette set to become a feature with director Richard Linklater and star Cate Blanchett. Semple's buzz is through the roof now.
One of Julia Roberts' first roles was actually on TV for an episode of Crime Story. She's appeared in hits such as Friends, Murphy Brown and Law & Order, as well as TV movies like The Normal Heart, Baja Oklahoma and more. This will be her first regular episodic role, though. On the film side, she was seen earlier this year in Money Monster, and her next role is for Stephen Chbosky's drama Wonder will Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay.
Getting Roberts onto a TV show is huge, but perhaps not surprising given how many movie stars made the transition in the last few years. One of the shining examples of how good things can get in that respect is the first season of True Detective, but more examples are coming all the time. We could not be more pumped to see Sigourney Weaver in the MCU, and few projects have ever sounded more exciting than Robert De Niro's crime series for Amazon with David O. Russell and Julianne Moore.
There's obviously no way to tell when we'll be able to say "Today will be different, because Today Will Be Different premieres," but we're hoping to be able to bring you even more good news about this project in the near future. To see what will hit the small screen in a more timely manner, head to our midseason premiere schedule.