Julia Roberts Is Coming to HBO in Maria Semple’s ‘Things Will Be Different’ Limited Series


Julia Roberts is the next film megastar to do an HBO limited series, following in the footsteps of the Witherspoons, Kidmans, Derns, and, very soon, Amy Adamses, Robert De Niros, Julianne Moores, and Meryl Streeps. The Hollywood Reporter writes that, through competition between networks to air a Julia Roberts-starring series adaptation of Maria Semple’s 2016 novel Today Will Be Different, HBO came out victorious.

Semple herself is writing the series, and also producing alongside Roberts, with Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle executive producing through Annapurna. Today Will Be Different is like a 24 of the bourgeois everyday: it takes place over the course of one day, but the intrigue and action are comprised of moments of minutiae depicting one woman’s attempts and struggles to better her life, tiny change by tiny change.

Like Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (which incidentally is being adapted as a Cate Blanchett-starring movie directed by Richard Linklater), the book Today Will Be Different is set in Seattle, and follows Eleanor Flood (who’ll be played by Roberts), a formerly renowned animator who’s married to a celebrity hand surgeon, and who just wants to be calm for a day.

Semple’s career has been a balance between novel and TV writing; her past credits include Arrested Development, SNL, and Mad About You.