HBO had some big news in the last 48 hours. On Thursday, the premium network announced that they had picked up Julia Robert’s limited drama series Today Will Be Different. Today, they announced that they will be developing Euphoria, a teen drama series based on an Israeli series of the same name, and also dropped the teaser trailer for the Duplass’ brothers’ newest project, an anthology comedy series called Room 104.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Today Will Be Different will be a drama series based on Maria Semple’s novel of the same name. The story follows lead character of Eleanor Flood over a single day of her life. Roberts will serve as star and producer, while Semple will write the series. Annapurna Pictures will also produce, along with Roberts’ production company Red Om Films. Semple and Annapurna are currently working on the film adaptation of her 2012 novel Where’d You Go Bernadette?
HBO also announced they were working on a teen drama series, utilizing the same plot and format as an 2012 Israeli series called Euphoria. According to Deadline, the original Israeli series was based on a real life teen who was murdered outside a club, and was directed by Daphna Levin and co-written by both Levin and Ron Leshem. The HBO series will showcases the struggles with drugs, violence, and sex, that face modern-day teens. With a ten episode season, written by Sam Levinson, who previously wrote Wizard of Lies for HBO, which starred Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro.
The Duplass brothers’ next project seems to have a great deal of promise, even if the setting is relatively limited. Room 104 will be a comedy series that features a new cast and storyline every episode, focusing on the guests of a single hotel room. Mark and Jay Duplass has previously produced indie films such as The Skeleton Twins, Tangerine, and Blue Jay. But Room 104 is not their first foray into television, as their successful animated comedy series Animals was renewed for a third season on HBO a few weeks ago. Room 104 is expected to premiere later this year. Check out the teaser trailer below.
All three HBO series demonstrate major trends in the television arena. Today Will Be Different is an example of movie stars making the jump to television. This trend began happening as early as 2013 with Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell, and Matthew McConaughey starring in True Detective, and Viola Davis with How to Get Away With Murder. In the future we can expect to see Meryl Streep in tv movie The Nix, and Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore in an mafia series at Amazon.
Euphoria shows the awareness of the rising foreign television industries, which is rising to meet the US’ high quality tv programming standards, and the potential of Hollywood execs to borrow ideas from this international content. Specifically Israeli and Turkish television has been gained international attention. Various Israeli tv series have been adapted for American audiences, such as Showtime’s Homeland, which just finished its sixth season.
Meanwhile, Room 104 is yet another representation of anthology series taking over, i.e. series that have entirely different plots/casts each episode or season. Providing an offer of short commitment to creative talent, anthology series allow big talent to come to the small screen, such as in the case of Netflix’s Black Mirror, or FX’s American Crime and American Horror Story.
Stay tuned for more details about these new series in the works at HBO.