Anthology series are the hot new format on TV. It's a weird name, but the term just describes shows like American Horror Story and True Detective that change their cast, setting, and story from season to season, while still maintaining the same themes and structure. For the most part, we've seen anthology series focus on specific genres, like horror and mystery, but now HBO is beginning to bring it something a bit simpler: family dramas.
Like True Detective, but without all the murder
HBO has started working on a project that is literally just called Family Drama and will follow a different family each season, according to The Wrap. The same basic elements will remain each time around: the families will all live in Seattle, and the seasons will all kick off after some major event in the family starts to change things. That's about as generic as you can get — stories typically begin amid changes, after all — but the point is really just that HBO has an excuse to make a more character-oriented drama. The intention may be to build the series' name up in the way that True Detective did, allowing it to attract major talent.
The project comes from Lynn Shelton, who's directed several episodes of New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Fresh off the Boat, as well as several indie films including last year's Laggies, which starred Keira Knightley. She'll be working on the show with a couple of others, including an executive producer of True Blood. Shelton will be a writer for the series and also intends to direct the pilot. That said, this is still just an early project that HBO is working on — and HBO's project very frequently do not come to fruition. Anthology series may be having a moment, but there are a lot of elements that go into a series' creation.