We’ve seen a resurgence in the miniseries, and a love affair with “limited series,” but up until now those distinctions have been in reference to dramas. Leave it to the Duplass Brothers (Mark and Jay) to mix things up by bringing a comedy anthology to HBO called Room 104. The brothers’ last series on HBO, Togetherness, was cancelled after its second season (and actually would have made for a decent anthology series idea as well, since Season 2 got a little too stuck in a repetitive and depressive mire).
Room 104’s structure is also unique, in that it will be set in a single, average hotel room, and will tell a different story in each episode about the characters passing through. In some ways, it feels a little like In Treatment, which focused on a different therapy session in each episode, although this seems like it won’t be repeating any of the guests (which also opens up a big opportunity for guest stars).
The brothers said in a press release that,
“We’ve all seen stories set in seedy motels and high-class international resorts, but for years we’ve been fascinated by the funny, weird, sad, scary, absurd things going down in that corporate chain hotel near the airport. That’s what ROOM 104 is after… finding some magic in the seemingly mundane.”
HBO loves working with the same group of showrunners, which is why David Milch, Terence Winters, and others have stayed with the network over the course of almost two decades. But the Duplasses are forging their own way into that club, serving as executive producers on another HBO series, the animated comedy Animals, which was recently renewed.
HBO says that the series will begin production later this year for a 2017 debut, and will expand the networks already robust set of comedies (although it sounds, like many of those comedies, that it will lean heavily on the dramatics as well).