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HBO Max orders up two kids competition series

HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service, is bolstering its library ahead of launch with two new hour-long kids competition series: Karma and Craftopia. Karma takes 16 contestants, aged 12-15, off ...
October 10, 2019

HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service, is bolstering its library ahead of launch with two new hour-long kids competition series: Karma and Craftopia.

Karma takes 16 contestants, aged 12-15, off the grid, where they’ll solve puzzles and take on physical challenges, all governed by the laws of Karma. Focus, giving, humility, growth, connection, change and patience will offer the path to becoming the “Karma Champion.”

Contestants are guided through the challenges by host and YouTube star Michelle Khare (pictured, right), an extreme lifestyle enthusiast with almost two million followers on the video sharing platform.

Karma is currently in production. It is executive produced by JD Roth, Adam Greener and Sara Hansemenn for GoodStory Entertainment, with Fred Pichel serving as showrunner and executive producer.

“After over 30 years of making kids television, this partnership with HBO Max has given me the ability to make a show about something important — Karma,” said Roth in a statement. “Teaching kids that the energy you put in is the energy you can expect to get back has been transformative. This show is a rare opportunity to entertain while teaching and I’m loving every minute of it!”

Meanwhile, Craftopia is a kids crafting competition in which 9-15-year-old contestants fill up their carts with crafting materials from a “magical studio,” then have to use their stores to take on larger-than-life crafting challenges.

The series, which goes into production later this year, is hosted and executive produced by Lauren Riihimaki (left), aka LaurDIY, one of YouTube’s top creators with over 21 million followers across all her social platforms.

Craftopia is executive produced by Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher for B17 Entertainment.

“We are giving kids an opportunity to show us their absolute best as they strive for excellence in both challenging and creative situations,” added Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original content at HBO Max. “With Michelle and Lauren at the helms, we are aiming to surprise and delight our young viewers. These shows are incredible additions to our growing list of HBO Max kids originals.”

HBO Max is set to launch in the spring of 2020, with an expected 10,000 titles of premium fiction and non-fiction content available at launch.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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