Julia Roberts to star in TV series based on Maria Semple's 'Today Will Be Different' (Exclusive)



Julia Roberts is heading to the small screen.

The actress will star in a limited series based on Maria Semple's latest book, Today Will Be Different, which hit shelves in October via Little, Brown and Company. Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures has scooped up the film rights to the book and will produce the project.

Semple, who has worked as a writer and producer on several TV series including Suddenly Susan and Arrested Development, will write the adaptation. The story shows a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, who had ambitions to wake up and have the best day of her life, but is forced to abandon those plays when she finds a strange, new future unfolding. No network is currently attached to the hot project.

Semple, who was featured on THR's Most Powerful Authors in Hollywood list, is already teaming with Annapurna on the feature film adaptation of her 2012 book Where'd You Go Bernadette. Richard Linklater is attached to direct and Cate Blanchett is attached to star in the film, which Color Force is also producing.

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Annapurna, known for making notable films such as Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!!, Spike Jonze's Her and the animated comedy Sausage Party, has been recently expanding beyond films, launching a video game department, and expanding into television. Today Will Be Different is the first new series announced under Annapurna's new TV initiative. The company hired former HBO exec Sue Naegle in September to expand its TV focus on development for broadcast, cable and digital platforms.

Roberts will produce the series through her Red Om Films banner with Semple, Ellison and Naegle serving as executive producers.

"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!" said Semple.

The development of Today Will Be Different as a limited series is just the latest in a string of TV projects that have A-list movie stars attached. Meryl Streep is starring in a Warner Bros. Television drama from J.J. Abrams, and Annapurna and Amazon are developing a TV series with David O. Russell that has Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro attached.

This project isn't Roberts' first foray into TV -- she previously appeared in Ryan Murphy's HBO TV movie The Normal Heart. Shewas most recently seen in Jodie Foster's Money Monster and will next be seen in Lionsgate's Wonder, an adaptation of RJ Palacio's book about a young boy with a facial deformity. She's repped by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein.

UTA negotiated the deal on behalf of Semple, who also is repped by ICM Partners for publishing. CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of Julia Roberts.

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