When you think of an #HBO family drama created by Alan Ball, Six Feet Under should come to mind, but there’s about to be another one joining it.
New show will focus on a progressive, multicultural family, like Brangelina's
Ball is stepping outside the Fishers’ funeral home (and the vampire-infested Deep South) to focus on a “modern family” of sorts, progressive and multiracial: a couple, the husband a philosophy professor and the wife a lawyer, and their four children, one biological child, and one adopted from each of Somalia, Vietnam and Colombia. On the outside, they seem happy, but as this is Alan Ball, writer of American Beauty, and HBO, home of The Sopranos, this family is hiding a very dark side under their perfect facade. The series will be a tragicomedy focusing on the complications of family life, with the same ironic sense of humour that was a hallmark of Ball’s other series, as well as the same weird flashes of the otherworldly, with one of the children suffering from visions of things no one else can see, which could be from a mental problem or could be something magical.
With the order of the new series, HBO has extended its longstanding overall deal with Ball by two years. The deal currently stands at having lasted over fifteen years, during which time Ball has guided Six Feet Under through five seasons and massive, “best TV show ever”-level critical acclaim, as well as creating the hugely popular southern gothic vampire series True Blood, which lasted seven seasons and brought audiences lots and lots of tantalising nudity.
The series is as-yet untitled
The series has yet to be given a title, but hopefully they’ll come up with something better than the last time HBO ordered a family drama, a Seattle-set anthology show from Say When director Lynn Shelton, which was dreadfully titled Family Drama (shudder). In fact, the network finds itself in dire need of original dramas. While it’s riding on a raft of successful comedies (eight total currently running), they’re stumbling with their dramas. Of course they have Game of Thrones, one of the highest-rated, best-reviewed shows on #Television, but that only has two seasons left, and other than that, they’re struggling in terms of drama. The Leftovers is on its way out next year and True Detective is currently up in the air after a poorly received second season following a widely acclaimed first. Their upcoming slate, Jonathan Nolan’s Crichton-adapting sci-fi Westworld and David Simon’s (The Wire) NYC porn drama The Deuce, along with Ball’s new show, might be enough to salvage HBO drama.
HBO’s order for the new show is straight-to-series, meaning it’s definitely getting a full season and not just a standard “Write a script, cast all the roles and make a pilot and then we’ll decide if we want you to make more or just flush all your hard work down the toilet” television deal. Now, they don’t give these out to just anyone, but this isn’t just anyone, this is Alan freaking Ball. #Games of Thrones