Julia Roberts will star in the first television series of her acting career. According to Variety, Roberts inked a deal to star in a limited television series based on Maria Semple's best-selling novel Today Will Be Different.
Though the series in its early stages, Roberts will be playing the role of "Eleanor Flood," a character who, according to the book's description, is "forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future." Insiders reveal that the comedy series will be penned by the book's author, Maria Semple, putting Julia's television future in good hands.
Semple had a moderately successful television career with the critically acclaimed Suddenly Susan, starring Brooke Shields, the Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser hit Mad About You, and the cult classic Arrested Development. Along with starring in the series, Julia Roberts will also wear the hat of executive producer for the show.
The show is listed as a "limited series" but no information has been given regarding how many episodes Roberts is expected to put out. While her' fans may be bummed that the word "limited" is attached, it doesn't necessarily mean, however, that there will only be one season.
Typically a full season has a minimum of 22 episodes, while most limited series run between 10 and 15 episodes. Despite the limited amount of episodes per season, however, many limited series shows go on to have multiple seasons like Shameless, Transparent, Orange is the New Black, and American Crime. The undetermined quantity could mean lots of Julia Roberts television sightings in the future, depending on how well it is received.
As an Oscar winner, Julia Roberts was Hollywood's "it" girl in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With memorable roles in movies like Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias, and My Best Friend's Wedding, Roberts embraced her fate as a romantic lead. Then came Erin Brockovich, the role which brought Julia the Oscar for Best Actress, a Golden Globe, and critical acclaim.
While Roberts still remains a celebrity A-lister, and is highly sought after, she began limiting her acting projects after becoming a mother to her three children. Roberts gave birth to twins Phinnaeus and Hazel in 2004, and son Henry in 2007. Despite her marketability and appeal, Roberts was the only female to make the list of the Forbes Top 10 Most Overpaid Actors of 2016, according to NME, coming in at No. 9. In the film realm, Julia has recently been faced with several box office flops in a row including Money Monster co-starring her frequent acting partner, George Clooney, and Mother's Day, Garry Marshall's last all-star cast holiday flick.
Roberts' venture into a television series isn't much of a surprise considering her successful transition to small screen movie work in 2014 with her work on HBO's The Normal Heart. Roberts' performance garnered her an Emmy nomination.
Though no network has been associated with her television project, the addition of Julia Roberts to the show will likely help it sell in the new year. It will be interesting to see if Today Will Different makes it to mainstream network television, takes the path of Roberts' The Normal Heart by going to a cable network, or if Netflix or Amazon will make a play for it.
Julia Roberts joins a growing list of celebrities who are making the leap from film to television. Even frequent nominee and Oscar winner Meryl Streep is chasing her EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) dreams by starring in The Nix from J.J. Abrams.
While most actors make the opposite transition -- from television to film -- the switch from film to television no longer has the stigma of failure associated with it that it once did, especially with the rise of streaming services and on-demand capability. Considering Julia Roberts was able to pull in $3 million for four days of work on Mother's Day, and her net worth is estimated to be at $140 million, the word "failure" doesn't seem to be in Roberts' vocabulary.
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