The Oscar-winning A-lister will star in a limited series, based on Maria Semple’s New York Times best-selling “Today Will Be Different,” which was released this fall. Semple will also pen the script for the TV adaptation of her own book.
Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is producing the series, marking the first TV project to come under the company’s new television initiative, led by Sue Naegle.
Aside from starring, Roberts will also exec produce the series by way of her Red Om Films banner, along with executive producers Semple, Ellison, and Naegle.
“Today Will Be Different” is about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, played by Roberts. The character is admittedly a bit of a mess, as she decides that today is the day to tackle the little things that she has been neglecting. Of course, life gets in the way of success as a fake-sick son, errant husband, and a former colleague with a bomb-dropping memoir derail her modest plan. Taking place over the course of one day, the series is described as a “hilarious, heart-filled story” about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing our former selves to truly begin living.
“I’m giddy that Eleanor Flood will be brought to life by Julia Roberts and am elated to collaborate with Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, and the team at Annapurna on this endeavor. This will be a fun ride!” Semple said in a statement.
No network is attached at this point. Insiders say it will be shopped around in the new year. With Roberts’ star power, the series becomes the latest hot project to hit the marketplace.
Roberts is the latest movie star to jump over to television. Meryl Streep is starring a series, “The Nix,” from J.J. Abrams, which is currently being shopped around; Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro are starring in a pricey Amazon series; and Jonah Hill and Emma Stone are starring in Netflix’s “Maniac.”
The limited series marks the first regular TV role for Roberts, who is most known for her iconic roles in “Pretty Woman,” “Erin Brokovich” and most recently, a small yet lucrative role in “Mother’s Day.” She starred in the HBO television movie “The Normal Heart,” and otherwise, her TV credits include smaller guest roles before she made it big.
This is not the first project between Semple and Annapurna. The writer is also working with the company on a film adaptation of her novel “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” which will star Cate Blanchett and be directed by Richard Linklater. “Today Will Be Different” marks Semple’s return to TV, after writing on “Arrested Development,” “Mad About You,” and “Suddenly Susan.”
Roberts is represented by CAA. Semple is repped by UTA, who negotiated the deal. ICM reps her for publishing.