Six Feet Under

HBO has gone back to the old Alan Ball well—bloody and full of corpses as it very well might be. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the premium cable network has just given a direct-to-series order to a new show from the True Blood and Six Feet Under creator, centered on a multi-cultural family that’s shaken up when one of the kids starts experiencing vivid hallucinations.

Still untitled, the series seems to check all the boxes on our Alan Ball TV Show Checklist (available at your finer Alan Ball superstores.) Sibling rivalry? Almost certainly, given that there are four kids—three adopted from Somalia, Vietnam and Colombia, and one biological—all jockeying for a place in the family. Extended fantasy sequences? Just wait ’til those maybe-real, maybe-supernatural visions start kicking in. A press description calling the series “a tragicomic meditation on the complicated forces at work on us all in America today”? Ring-a-ding-ding, we’ve now achieved peak Alan Ball. You may exit the ride.

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This new series shouldn’t be confused with Virtuoso, the other show Ball is working on right now for HBO, as part of a larger two-year deal he recently signed with the network. Co-produced with Elton John, that series seems to still be up in the air. Meanwhile, Ball’s also hard at work on a TV-movie adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s scientific history book The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks, featuring Renee Elise and Oprah Winfrey, also for HBO.