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HBO Max, Ellen DeGeneres team on three original series

WarnerMedia’s yet-to-be launched streamer HBO Max has inked a deal with comedian and television host Ellen DeGeneres, picking up two unscripted shows and a docuseries. Ellen’s Home Design Challenge and First Dates Hotel were ordered ...
September 27, 2019

WarnerMedia’s yet-to-be launched streamer HBO Max has inked a deal with comedian and television host Ellen DeGeneres, picking up two unscripted shows and a docuseries.

Ellen’s Home Design Challenge and First Dates Hotel were ordered straight to series, with the docuseries Finding Einstein in development. HBO Max also picked up the scripted children’s animation series Little Ellen.

In Ellen’s Home Design Challenge, DeGeneres gives eight forward-thinking designers the chance to “push their creativity to the limit.” DeGeneres will be on hand to weigh in on each challenge and provide commentary.

The series is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and A. Smith & Co. Productions in association with Telepictures and A Very Good Production, with DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman and Arthur Smith serving as executive producers.

Based on the UK format devised by Twenty Twenty Productions, First Dates Hotel follows two people as they embark on a date at an affluent boutique hotel. At the end, the potential pair will decide whether to go on another date.

Produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television in association with Shed Media, A Very Good Production and Twenty Twenty Productions Limited, DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Pamela Healey, and Dan Peirson will serve as executive producers on the project. Previous seasons of the UK series First Dates and First Dates Hotel will also be available on HBO Max.

Currently in development, Finding Einstein seeks to “support a fresh generation of Einsteins” around the world.

The series is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television in association with Telepictures and A Very Good Production, with DeGeneres, Kleeman and Todd Goldman serving as executive producers.

DeGeneres announced the pickups today (Sept. 27) on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, gifting her audience a two-year HBO Max subscription in celebration.

The SVOD’s highly anticipated launch is set for the spring of 2020.

“Ellen is a singular talent, and a powerhouse, creative triple-threat that we are lucky to have now bringing her talents to bear on behalf of HBO Max,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president, TNT, TBS, and truTV, said in a statement.

(Photo credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros)

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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