Food Network debuts ‘Tournament of Champions,’ hosted by Guy Fieri

January 23, 2020

Guy Fieri (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

It’s madness on Food Network this March as Guy Fieri hosts and executive produces an all new culinary competition where 16 of the nation’s most celebrated chefs face-off on “Tournament of Champions,” premiering on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at 10pm with a supersized 90-minute episode stuffed with edge-of-your-seat action. During the five-part tournament, the chefs’ skills will be pushed to the limit, as they go head-to-head in a single elimination bracket-style competition, where a randomizer machine determines the protein, produce, equipment, cooking style, and time for each of the cook-offs. The pressure is on and emotions are high throughout this unpredictable tournament, as the elite chefs enter this blind competition not knowing who their opponents will be, or what cooking challenges they will face. The intensity increases in each sudden-death each round of the tournament as the coveted spots decrease from 16 to eight in the second round, then to four, until there are only two chefs in the final round.

This past October, Guy issued a call to action on social media for fans to nominate their favorite chefs they thought deserved to earn a coveted challenger spot for an East Coast vs. West Coast tournament, and the fans responded. The final chefs representing the East Coast are: Maneet Chauhan, Rocco DiSpirito, Alex Guarnaschelli, Elizabeth Falkner, Darnell Ferguson, Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Christian Petroni. The chefs showing off their chops from the West Coast are: Richard Blais, Eric Greenspan, Antonia Lofaso, Beau Macmillan, Jet Tila, Marcel Vigneron, Michael Voltaggio, and Brooke Williamson. Today, the seeds and first-round brackets of the tournament will be unveiled on Food Network’s Twitter page. Beginning on February 14th, for the first time ever, viewers will be able to build their own bracket for a chance to track their scores as the competition unfolds, unlock exclusive content, and win prizes throughout the season.

“‘Tournament of Champions’ showcases cooking as a sport with difficult sudden-death challenges and unexpected match ups as each round is determined by the course of the competition,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network. “Our cameras rolled on all the action, from the competition floor to back stage and behind the scenes, capturing the tension, deliberation, elation and frustration as bracket victors moved on while others faced elimination.”

“The NFL has the Super Bowl, MLB has the World Series, NBA has The Finals. And now Food Network has ‘Tournament of Champions’ – the ultimate culinary championship to establish once and for all, who rules America’s kitchen,” said Guy Fieri.

It’s a high stakes competition unlike any before. Simon Majumdar and Justin Warner deliver real time play-by-play as all the action unfolds in front of a live audience and continues backstage while the competitors mull over their work while listening in on the judges’ deliberation. Deciding who advances in each round is a rotating panel of expert judges including, Michelle Bernstein, Traci Des Jardin, Marcus Samuelsson, Nancy Silverton, Curtis Stone, Ming Tsai, and Jonathan Waxman. Unexpected challenges, major upsets and surprises fill this tournament, which concludes with an extended 90-minute episode on Wednesday, April 1st at 10pm. Only one chef will emerge as the champion!

Fans can head to www.FoodNetwork.com/TournamentOfChampions for videos with Guy, taste test challenges with the judges and food games with competitors, as well as exclusive Q&As. From February 14 – March 1, viewers can head to Food Network’s Twitter to complete their own bracket for the chance to win unique prizes, and use #TournamentOfChampions to track the action week-to-week.

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FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Food Network reboots ‘Food Network Challenge’ with host Ian Ziering

November 18, 2019

Ian Ziering (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

Fan-favorite competition series “Food Network Challenge” is back and better than ever with new host Ian Ziering and a fresh roster of the country’s top cake makers, bakers and sugar artists going head-to-head in pop culture-themed battles to create mind-blowing works of delicious art.  The six-episode season kicks off on Monday, December 23 at 10pm ET/PT with a celebration of the beloved holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” complete with over-the-top edible recreations of the iconic film’s most memorable moments. Upcoming episode themes include “Back to the Future,” “Pokémon,” “Monopoly” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Every ‘Food Network Challenge’ contestant has risen to the top of the competitive baking world by winning multiple awards, so these expert bakers are extremely competitive,“ said Courtney White, President, Food Network. ”The culinary action combined with pop culture nostalgia and host Ian Ziering’s charm make for a fun and compelling show for the whole family.”

In the season premiere, four top-notch cake artists compete in a celebration of one of the most beloved holiday films of all time: “A Christmas Story.”  From edible pink bunny suits and leg lamps to a visit from Scott Schwartz, who played Flick, there are tons of “oh fudge” moments in this wild ride.  Judges Matt Allard, Keegan Gerhard and Claudia Sandoval determine who wins $10,000 for their Christmas stocking, along with the title “Food Network Challenge” champion.

Viewers can learn more about Ian Ziering, meet the contestants and follow the competition at FoodNetwork.com/FNChallenge. Plus, follow on social channels using # FNChallenge for an exclusive Q&A with Ian and to see top moments from the competition.

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Food Network (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘Vas-y Coupe!’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Jacques Selosse employees in "Vas-y Coupe!"
Jacques Selosse employees in “Vas-y Coupe!” (Photo courtesy of By the By Productions)

“Vas-y Coupe!”

Directed by Laura Naylor

French with subtitles

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 9, 2019.

If you’ve ever wondered about some of the people behind the making of French champagne, you’ll get a look in “Vas-y Coupe!,” a candid but slow-paced peek into the crucial harvesting process. “Vas-y Coupe!” translates to “Go ahead, cut!” in English. This movie focuses on Jacques Selosse, a family-run vineyard in France’s Champagne region and what happens during harvest season. The documentary was inspired by director Laura Naylor’s real-life experiences harvesting grapes at the vineyard in 2016, about a year after she first discovered the vineyard through a sommelier friend.

Founded in the 1950s, Jacques Selosse is located in the small village of Avize, and much of the culture in the movie feels like a 1950s time warp. The roles of the men and women are, for the most part, sharply segregated by gender. Although there are a few harvesters who are female (and they’re briefly spotted on camera), the male harvesters and their male supervisors get most of the focus in this documentary. The women in the film are primarily shown in the kitchen and fulfilling the roles of cooks, food servers and maids. The women are preoccupied with preparing meals and trying on beauty products, while the men do the dirty work of picking and distilling the grapes. Even with the Selosse family that owns the vineyard, the men in the family are the ones who get to taste and evaluate the company’s product made from the harvested grapes.

In addition to the gender lines that are clearly defined, there are also class lines that are almost never crossed. The laborers know their place as servants, and there’s sometimes tension with the vineyard owners/supervisors over wage issues. The rough-and-tumble nature of this working-class crew sometimes leads to them clashing with each other, as minor squabbles are captured on camera. But if you’re looking for shocking, dramatic moments, you won’t find them here in this mostly quiet film. To its credit, what’s shown in this movie doesn’t look staged, like a reality show.

But to its detriment, the movie suffers from editing that shows too much repetition of mundane tasks. It’s not necessary for viewers to keep seeing similar scenes of the women in the kitchen discussing the meals they’re preparing, followed by scenes of the women serving the meals to the laborers gathered in the dining room area. In order for a documentary like this to stand out, there has to be at least one big, riveting personality to keep viewers interested, but the people in this movie are just too average to make this a compelling story. And unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in so much “slice of life” footage that the end result is a documentary that is duller than it should be.

Thanksgiving 2019: Food Network and Cooking Channel programs

September 30, 2019

Food Network stars Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Katie Lee (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network and Cooking Channel:

Food Network and Cooking Channel are preparing for food’s biggest holiday with a full slate of Thanksgiving-themed programming, including a live on-air event and first-ever, interactive Thanksgiving streaming event on the NEW Food Network Kitchen app, marking a 40% increase in Thanksgiving content compared to 2018. The November primetime lineup on Food Network includes: “Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge,” a four-episode competition hosted by Giada De Laurentiis premiering Sunday, November 3rd at 9pm ET/PT; “Worst Cooks in America: Thanksgiving Redemption” with Anne Burrell and Scott Conant on Sunday, November 10th at 10pm ET/PT; brand-new special “Thanksgiving Pie Fight” hosted by Sunny Anderson on Thursday, November 14th at 9pm ET/PT; a turkey-focused “Good Eats” one-hour special with Alton Brown on Sunday, November 17th at 8pm ET/PT and “Macy’s Thanksgiving Cake Spectacular” with Maureen McCormick on Sunday, November 17th at 10pm ET/PT.

On Friday, November 22nd at 9pm ET/6pm PT, Guy Fieri will host the first-ever, fully interactive LIVE Thanksgiving streaming event, “Guy’s Thanksgiving Hotline,” on the Food Network Kitchen app, sharing recipes, tips and guidance for the biggest holiday of the year, and giving fans the chance to have their questions answered in real-time. In daytime, Food Network goes live on air on Saturday, November 23rd at 11am ET with special two-hour interactive event “The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live” with “The Kitchen” co-hosts Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey Zakarian, joined by Alton Brown. Immediately following “The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live,” fans can join the hosts on the Food Network Kitchen app as they each go live sharing more great ideas on how to make this year’s Thanksgiving the best it can be. On Cooking Channel, host Carla Hall discovers outrageous Turkey Day treats in primetime special “Thanksgiving Grubdown” on Monday, November 11th at 9pm ET/6pm PT.

“Food Network and Cooking Channel have Thanksgiving covered from every angle and this year we have packed the schedule, adding dynamic live and interactive content to really give viewers the experience, access and information they crave,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network and Cooking Channel. “From expert Thanksgiving feast recipes and family entertaining tips to edge-of-your-seat holiday themed competitions, spectacles, and live stunts, our programming and platforms are the ultimate destination leading up to the big day.”

The season kicks off on Sunday, November 3rd at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network with “Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge,” where six chefs face off to create the ultimate Thanksgiving dishes. Host Giada De Laurentiis puts the creative competitors to the test, challenging them to prepare the most delicious and innovative turkeys, side dishes and desserts to ever hit a dining table. Judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Carla Hall and Christian Petroni choose the $25,000 winner in the finale on Sunday, November 24th at 9pm ET/PT. Join the conversation on social using #UltimateThanksgivingChallenge.

On Sunday, November 10th at 10pm ET/PT, four beloved former “Worst Cooks” recruits return to boot camp in Worst Cooks in America: Thanksgiving Redemption. Chefs Anne Burrell and Scott Conant teach the much-improved recruits how to make a Thanksgiving meal to impress judges Jonathan Waxman, Esther Choi and Cliff Crooks – and only the winning team wins kitchen appliances worth $10,000. Follow #WorstCooks on social media for more of the very best of the worst.

Four top pie bakers compete to create the most outrageously visual and edible pies in the brand-new special “Thanksgiving Pie Fight,” premiering Thursday, November 14th at 9pm ET/PT. Hosted by Sunny Anderson, the bakers must utilize height-defying techniques, intricate designs, dyed doughs and more to blow away judges Nacho Aguirre, Jessica Clark-Bojin and Scott Conant. With a $10,000 prize at stake, the self-taught and professional bakers will stop at nothing to make the most elaborate pies. Follow the fight on social media using #ThanksgivingPieFight.

Alton Brown talks turkey in “Good Eats: Thanksgiving Special,” a one-hour show dedicated to the bird on Sunday, November 17th at 8pm ET/PT. Turkey may be the most versatile of the “New World” critters, but for some crazy reason we only roast it for the holidays, so Alton puts an end to that with three turkey recipes that should be made year-round. Follow #GoodEatsTheReturn to get Alton’s turkey tips and more.

In “Macy’s Thanksgiving Cake Spectacular,” hosted by Maureen McCormick, four of the country’s best bakers come together to design sweet masterpieces that pay tribute to the beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons and floats. Airing on Sunday, November 17th at 10pm ET/PT, only the most successful cake artist will take home the grand prize of $10,000 and have their work featured in Macy’s flagship New York City store, plus receive tickets to the parade. Judges are Buddy Valastro, Susan Tercero and last season’s winner Timbo Sullivan. Join the conversation anytime using #ThanksgivingCakeSpectacular.

On Friday, November 22nd at 9pm ET/6pm PT, Guy Fieri will host the first-ever, fully interactive live Thanksgiving streaming event, “Guy’s Thanksgiving Hotline,” on the Food Network Kitchen app, sharing recipes, tips and guidance for the biggest holiday of the year, and giving fans the chance to have their questions answered in real-time.

In daytime on Saturday, November 23rd at 11am ET, the special event “The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live” helps viewers successfully pull off the biggest culinary holiday of the year with interactive tips and recipes from Food Network stars themselves. In the two-hour live show, The Kitchen co-hosts Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey Zakarian are joined by Alton Brown to offer their own takes on classic Thanksgiving dishes to make an amazing holiday feast. Immediately following “The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live,” the hosts will each go live on the Food Network Kitchen app giving viewers even more Thanksgiving 911 to help make their holidays the best they can be. Follow #TheKitchen #ThanksgivingLive for all the culinary action.

Thanksgiving-themed premiere episodes of fan-favorite series, including “Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro,” “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Chopped,” “Chopped Junior,” “Girl Meets Farm,” “Guy’s Grocery Games,” “Guy’s Ranch Kitchen,” “The Pioneer Woman,” “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” “Triple D Nation” and “Valerie’s Home Cooking,” will also air in November.

On Cooking Channel, host Carla Hall discovers outrageous Turkey Day treats in the primetime special “Thanksgiving Grubdown” on Monday, November 11th at 9pm ET/6pm PT. She gobbles ’til she wobbles on pumpkin pancakes piled high with a slice of cheesecake, reimagines Thanksgiving dinner as a giant sandwich and devours a 23-pound cake made with layers of holiday pies. Follow along on social using #ThanksgivingGrubdown.

For even more inspiration, fans will be able to use the Food Network Kitchen app to access 25 LIVE cooking classes each week, over 800 on-demand cooking classes, 3,000 instructional videos, 80,000 recipes, and more. Plus, beginning November 9th viewers can stream all-new episodes of “30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray” on Food Network Kitchen.

On digital and social, Food Network’s “Countdown to Thanksgiving” begins November 1st with brand-new content every day across platforms. Fans will get the best-of-the-best recipes and tips, expert demos, product recommendations, interactive Q&As throughout the month, plus the chance to win BIG with social giveaways. Fans will also have an exciting opportunity to have a direct line to experts in Food Network Kitchen to solve their biggest Turkey Day conundrums to make sure their feast is a success. Join the countdown on social media using #CountdowntoThanksgiving.

Visit Cooking Channel’s one-stop guide to Thanksgiving online, featuring everything needed to host the perfect holiday feast. From easy entertaining timesavers and a cornucopia of side dishes to the all-important turkey and something sweet for dessert, Cooking Channel has recipes, how-to videos and step-by-step tutorials to set users up for delicious success.
FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

COOKING CHANNEL (www.cookingchanneltv.com) is an entertainment brand dedicated to today’s passionate food lover. For food people, by food people, Cooking Channel is the answer to a growing hunger for more content devoted to food and cooking in every dimension from global cuisines to international travel, history and unconventional how-to’s. Cooking Channel is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Food Network announces ‘Halloween Cake-Off’ series hosted by Duff Goldman

July 30, 2019

The following is a press release from Food Network:

"Halloween Cake-Off"
“Halloween Cake-Off” stars, pictured from left to right: judge Pichet Ong, host Duff Goldman and judge Waylynn Lucas. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
Halloween Cake-Off- Premiering Monday, September 30th at 10pm-
SERIES PREMIERE
In Halloween Cake-Off, Duff Goldman hosts talented bakers from around the country for this unconventional baking and design competition where flavor is only the tip of the icing. In each episode, four bakers are pitted against each other to find out who is best at baking the most ghoulish, outlandish, spookiest Halloween cakes. The competitors create over the top, edible works of art that transform in spooky and mystifying ways in pursuit of winning the Cake-Off.
Online, get to know the judges and browse photos from the competition. Follow #HalloweenCakeOff on our social channels for wild video highlights from the competition and to watch Duff and the judges take on spine-tingling challenges and create fun Halloween treats.
FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Hulu announces new culinary series hosted by Padma Lakshmi

July 26, 2019

Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi (Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo)

“Top Chef” host/judge Padma Lakshmi is getting a new culinary series on Hulu. The show’s title and premiere date are to be announced. She will continue to be on “Top Chef,” which is televised in the U.S. on Bravo. The announcement about Lakshmi’s Hulu series was made during 2019 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Here is what a Hulu press release said about the show:

The Untitled Padma Lakshmi Series is a living cookbook made up more from people and culture than recipes. Curated by Emmy-nominated host and author Padma Lakshmi (“Top Chef”), the series embraces culinary traditions from the first Americans to the latest arrivals alongside Padma’s perspectives and personal connection to each story. Filmed around the country, each episode starts with a single dish that represents and connects to a community’s history and traditions, and explores the evolution of that immigrant community through that cuisine. From family recipes and street food to high-end restaurants, each dish explored is a symbol of a unique journey and story that provides viewers a window into where communities came from and the tale of how they set roots in America. In the hands of different families and waves of immigration, an organic evolution emerges between traditional recipes and new approaches, different perspectives and emotions, all captured through Padma’s eyes.

Each 30-minute episode follows Padma as she learns, immerses and celebrates communities from around the world that have taken root in America, changed it and been changed by it. The 10-episode series is produced by Part2 Pictures.

Dippin’ Dots is giving away free ice cream on National Ice Cream Day 2019

July 15, 2019

Dippin' Dots

The following is a press release from Dippin’ Dots:

July is best known for the Fourth, fireworks, fun, family, and… free ice cream! To celebrate National Ice Cream Day Sunday, July 21, 2019, America’s leading flash frozen beaded ice cream company Dippin’ Dots continues their love for spreading sweetness by treating customers a free mini cup of Dippin’ Dots at participating locations.

Participating stores and shopping center locations will give out free ice cream for a two-hour window. To find your closest local store or kiosk, visit www.dippindots.com/dotsspots and contact the location nearest you for the giveaway hours. More information can be found at https://www.dippindots.com/NICD-2019.

National Ice Cream Day this year has an added bonus: ice cream lovers have a shot at winning free ice cream for a year and a cash prize now through July 31 by entering the “I Want My Dippin’ Dots” dance challenge. More information is at https://www.dippindots.com/dance.

“At Dippin’ Dots, we are all about celebrating the little things in life and there is nothing better to celebrate than National Ice Cream Day,” said Dippin’ Dots Chief Marketing & Sales Officer Michael Barrette. “In our minds, every day is National Ice Cream Day, but free ice cream makes the day a little sweeter.”

To learn more about the flavors and products or to find a location near you, visit www.dippindots.com.

About Dippin’ Dots, L.L.C.
Dippin’ Dots has produced and distributed its flash frozen tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and flavored ice products since 1988. Made at the company’s production facility in Paducah, Kentucky, Dippin’ Dots distributes its unique frozen products in all 50 states and 11 countries through its franchised and direct distribution network. For more information, including franchise opportunities, please visit www.dippindots.com.

WarnerMedia announces HBO Max streaming service, set to debut in 2020

July 9, 2019

The following is a press release from WarnerMedia:

WarnerMedia today unveiled HBO Max as the name of its new streaming service, which will offer an impressive direct-to-consumer experience for everyone ranging from families with young children to adults of all ages. Anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO’s excellence and award-winning storytelling, the new service will be “Maximized” with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) and the best-of-the-best from WarnerMedia’s enormous portfolio of beloved brands and libraries.

New deals with Warner Bros. Television and others for HBO Max announced today include:

· The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of “Friends” – one of the biggest hits on television and in streaming

· The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all episodes of fan favorites “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Pretty Little Liars”

· The exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.’ produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including the highly-anticipated new DC Entertainment series “Batwoman,” and “Katy Keene” (spinoff of “Riverdale”)

· New exclusive movie production deals with Greg Berlanti, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful producers, and Reese Witherspoon, Academy Award(R) and Emmy Award(R)-winning actress and producer; Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films

HBO Max, scheduled to launch commercially in spring of 2020, is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content.

“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends,'” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer. “Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries – Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) – and two of the most experienced digital experts – Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell – I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”

Max Original series previously announced include:

“Tokyo Vice” star Ansel Elgort (Photo courtesy of TBS)

· “Dune: The Sisterhood,” an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve

· “Tokyo Vice,” based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort

· “The Flight Attendant,” a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti

· “Love Life,” a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig

· “Station Eleven,” a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai

· “Made for Love,” a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson

· “Gremlins,” an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie

Highlights of HBO programming previously announced for 2020 and 2021 include:

“The Outsider” star Ben Mendelsohn (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)

· Stephen King’s “The Outsider,” a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman

· “Lovecraft Country,” a unique horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams

· “The Nevers,” Joss Whedon’s new science fiction series starring Laura Donnelly

· “The Gilded Age,” the opulent world of 1885 New York from “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes

· “Avenue 5,” high satire aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci (“Veep”), starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad

· “The Undoing,” a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant

· “The Plot Against America,” reimagined history based on Phillip Roth’s novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro

· “Perry Mason,” the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role

· “I Know This Much Is True,” a complex family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia, based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.

Casey Bloys, programming president of HBO, continues to oversee content on the HBO service, with investment in HBO original programming having been increased 50% over normal spending.

Kevin Reilly, president of the Warner Media Entertainment Networks that include TNT, TBS, and truTV, also serves as chief content officer of HBO Max overseeing all new Max Originals and library content.

Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, now oversees the development of HBO Max with Andy Forssell, also from Otter Media and formerly CEO of Hulu, as the general manager.

Some of Hollywood’s most successful creators and producers are looking forward to the new service, including the following who are either producing for HBO and/or an upcoming HBO Max Original:

Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

“WarnerMedia has three things going for it with this new streaming service. One, they have an incredible history and legacy of storytelling. Two, they’re super future-focused and trying to be the best. And three, they’re letting people like me embarrass myself episode after episode until I find love. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this family.”

Issa Rae

Issa Rae (Photo by Mike Smith/NBC)

“What’s exciting about HBO Max is that we have so many more resources and so many more voices of support for our show, and it’s an opportunity for other creators to have a bigger platform. I’m thrilled that my show will still be on HBO but now it will also be part of a new service that will reach more and more people.”

Greg Berlanti

Greg Berlanti (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros./Everett Collection)

“What I’ve always loved about creating shows that connect with a young audience is that these fans grow up with the programs and will remember them for the rest of their lives. Now I get to do even more of that for HBO Max, where viewers will be able to discover shows on their own time, in their own way. Like any great novel, these shows will be there waiting for you. As a fan, what I’m personally most excited to watch on the service are all the great Warner Bros. movies that affected our entire culture and changed the way we live.”

Damon Lindelof

Damon Lindelof (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

“Working with HBO has been an entirely different level. People really care about these shows and they invest at such a high level. And now with HBO Max in the family, what I’m feeling is a greater sense of understanding and belonging that the family went from being a nuclear family to now there’s a couple more kids and there’s aunts and uncles and there’s cousins and they’re all cool. I want to go to that family reunion!”

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham (Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo)

“To be able to work for a company that’s allowed me to grow as an artist, as a woman, as a creator is a real gift. I love being part of this specific group of HBO programs that have meant so much to me. And lots of people are obsessed with the concept of streaming and now HBO Max is the future of the medium because it’s all just about continuing to tell really smart stories, and to me, that’s evergreen. I’m working on more projects for HBO as well as something very exciting for HBO Max and I’m just in heaven.”

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

“It’s the dream of every artist to create art that inspires and even changes people. I’ve had a glorious experience doing ‘Big Little Lies’ on HBO and I’m so happy to also be developing a brand-new original drama series for HBO Max. This bigger platform will enable even more people to see the work that I and so many of my friends have poured our hearts into creating.”

George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin (Photo courtesy of TBS)
“Back in 1991, after a decade in television, I began writing a series of novels that I knew would never be filmed. ‘A Game of Thrones’ and its sequels were too big, too complex, too dark, too sexy, with a cast of thousands, gigantic battles, massive castles, direwolves, ice wights, and dragons. Too sprawling for a feature film, too expensive for television. I should have remembered, ‘It’s not television, it’s HBO.’ Working with HBO during the past decade has been a dream come true. What they did could not be done, but they did it anyway. And now they are embarked on a new venture. No, they won’t be tying their shows to the legs of ravens as I suggested… instead they are launching an exciting new streaming platform that will carry all the great HBO programming around the world… classic old shows and thrilling new shows, including (I hope) a return to my world of Westeros. Sign me up!”

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

“I have been part of the Warner Bros. Television family for over 12 years. I treasure my time on ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ and I am thrilled that our relationship continues to flourish in my new role as a producer on ‘The Flight Attendant.’ When I read the book more than a year-and-a-half ago, I was instantly obsessed with it – and with the idea of bringing it to the screen. I could not be happier to collaborate with the team at HBO Max to make this dream a reality. WarnerMedia has a long history of supporting storytellers and empowering them to fulfill their greatest potential. I am proud to be working with them on this series and cannot wait for viewers to have the opportunity to see it.”

“Friends” was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman and aired for 10 seasons on NBC from 1994 to 2004. The show revolved around six friends and made stars out of its ensemble — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television.

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was created by Andy Borowitz and Susan Borowitz, and ran for six seasons on NBC from 1990 to 1996. The show revolved around Will Smith as a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia who is sent to move in with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel-Air mansion after getting into a fight in his hometown. The show made Smith a star. Also starring in the comedy were James Avery, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Janet Hubert-Whitten, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali and Joseph Marcell. It was produced by The Stuffed Dog Company, Quincy Jones Productions-Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment and NBC Productions.

“Pretty Little Liars” was developed by I. Marlene King, based upon a series of books by Sara Shepard, and aired for seven seasons on ABC Family/Freeform from 2010 to 2017. The series follows the lives of five high school girls whose clique falls apart after the leader of the group, Alison, goes missing. The series features an ensemble cast, including Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish. It was produced by Alloy Entertainment, Long Lake Productions and Russian Hill Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.

About WarnerMedia

Warner Media is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Now, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. Warner Media is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

September 12, 2019 UPDATE:

Making its first move into the key unscripted space, HBO Max, the upcoming direct-to-consumer offering from WarnerMedia set to launch in the spring of 2020, has ordered two original unscripted series, Legendary and The Greatest Space (working title) straight to series.

Legendary will be serving up 10 episodes of all body and face, with no shade. In this show, divas will battle on voguing teams called “houses,” with the chance to win a cash prize in ballsy fashion and dance challenges to ultimately achieve “Legendary” status. Voguing is a competitive style of modern dance featuring over-the-top fashion and choreography based on poses struck by models on a catwalk. Legendary will feature 10 voguing “houses,” each comprised of five performers and a leader – the house “parent.” The teams rotate in a round-robin format, and each episode documents a themed ball from start to finish. They Walk. They Serve. They Live to Slay.

The Greatest Space (wt), a 10-episode epic design competition show, will feature interior designers traveling around the world to transform an eclectic mix of empty rooms into spectacular spaces. In each one-hour episode, pairs of professional designers will head out on a country-hopping adventure, traveling to a new city in search of their canvas. Along the way, challenges will force them to lift directly from some of the most glamorous, audacious and ambitious rooms all around the world. From ballrooms to bedrooms to treehouses and everything in between, competitors battle to win the judges’ favor. High stakes, surprises, language barriers and exotic locales await these designers, along with unpredictable eliminations. But, if they can hold on, the dwindling designers will gain access to larger, more surprising and more imaginative spaces, in pursuit of a substantial cash prize.

Legendary is executive produced by Scout Productions’ Emmy® Award-winning team David Collins, Michael Williams and Rob Eric (Queer Eye) along with Renata Lombardo and Shant Tutunjian.

The Greatest Space (wt) is produced by New Media Collective (NMC) and Scout Productions with NMC’s Emmy® Award-winning Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri along with Mark Dziak (The Amazing Race), and Scouts’ David Collins, Michael Williams and Rob Eric serving as executive producers.

September 13, 2019 UPDATE:

Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Disney)

HBO Max, a division of WarnerMedia Entertainment, today announced a straight-to-series order for “Americanah.” Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name, “Americanah” is an epic story of a woman born in Nigeria who leaves for America and her extraordinary experiences with love, heartache, adversity and self-discovery. The 10-episode limited series will star Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”; “Black Panther”), with the pilot being written by showrunner Danai Gurira (“Black Panther”; “Avengers: Endgame”), who was nominated for a Tony Award® for writing the Broadway show “Eclipsed.”

“Through ‘Americanah,’ Chimamanda brought the African female voice into mainstream consciousness in an unprecedented way. It is intellectually incisive, indicting, yet full of humor, and riddled with humanity. She makes unheard voices familiar, universal and yet palpably specific,” said Gurira. “I am honored to bring her incredible novel to life on the screen. I’m thrilled to collaborate once again with Lupita who brings her astounding ability as a performer and producer shepherding this project, along with HBO MAX’s unbridled enthusiasm to bring this groundbreaking narrative to the TV audience.”

“Americanah has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013. It’s a tale that is simultaneously timely and timeless,” said Nyong’o. “HBO Max is the perfect partner to bring this profound and celebrated story to life, and I’m thrilled that Danai will bring to the project her intelligence, wit, and understanding of the stories and the worlds of Americanah.”

Americanah tells the story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze. Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous undocumented life in London. A highly lauded tale that has become a leader in the cultural conversation, “Americanah” is an incredible exploration of the human experience that crosses three continents to give an empathetic, compelling view of the complex realities of race, politics, immigration and identity.

The series will be executive produced by Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o for Eba Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Andrea Calderwood (“Generation Kill”) for Potboiler Television, Didi Rea and Danielle Del for D2 Productions, and Nancy Won (“Jessica Jones”).

September 15, 2019 UPDATE:

“The Big Bang Theory” (Photo courtesy of CBS)

HBO Max, the upcoming streaming platform from WarnerMedia set to launch in the spring of 2020, has secured the first-ever U.S. streaming rights to all 12 seasons of the massive comedy hit “The Big Bang Theory.” All 279 episodes will be available on HBO Max when it launches in spring of 2020. In addition, TBS has extended its agreement to continue airing the show through 2028.

September 19, 2019 UPDATE:

Building upon its expanding original film roster, HBO Max has confirmed production of “UNpregnant,” adapted from the young adult HarperCollins novel authors Jenni Hendriks (“How I Met Your Mother”) and Ted Caplan (music editor for “The Hate U Give,” “The Greatest Showman”). From PICTURESTART and Berlanti Productions, the film offers a mix of humor and grounded human emotion as it tackles complicated friendships and the difficult road to adulthood, all while in a stolen El Camino. Starting production in New Mexico this fall, Emmy® winner Rachel Lee Goldenberg (“Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” “The Mindy Project”) has signed on to direct.

“Unpregnant” tells the story of seventeen-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson), who never thought she’d want to fail a test—that is, until she finds herself staring at a piece of plastic with two solid pink lines. With a promising college-bound future now disappearing before her eyes, Veronica considers a decision she never imagined she’d have to make. This tough and never-taken-lightly decision leads her on a 900+ mile road trip to New Mexico over three days with her ex-best friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), where they discover that one of the most important factors in your life is who your friends are.

“When the opportunity to produce a film based on ‘UNpregnant’ arose in partnership with the incomparable Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Erik Feig, I knew HBO Max was the right place for this story,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “We want to create authentic, relevant films that are told with grace and humor to serve our young adult audience, and this is exactly that.”

Berlanti Productions, led by Greg Berlanti (“Love, Simon,” “Arrow,” “Riverdale,” “The Flash”), Sarah Schechter (“Supergirl,” “Riverdale”) and Michael McGrath will executive produce alongside PICTURESTART’s Erik Feig (“The Twilight Saga,” “The Hunger Games” franchise, “La La Land”), Lucy Kitada (“The Babysitters Club”) and Jessica Switch (“Nerve”). This is the inaugural film within Berlanti’s overall HBO Max film deal.

About Haley Lu Richardson
Haley Lu Richardson can next be seen in Kogonada’s “After Yang” opposite Colin Farrell. She recently starred in “Five Feet Apart” opposite Cole Sprouse for CBS Films. She starred in Kogonada’s highly-acclaimed “Columbus,” which premiered at Sundance in 2017 to rave reviews. Haley was nominated for Best Actress at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, and the film also received Independent Spirit Awards nominations for Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

She was most recently seen in writer-director Chris Weitz’s “Operation Finale,” in which she stars with Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley. Haley also stars as legendary silent screen star Louise Brooks in “The Chaperone” for Julian Fellowes, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Her film “Support the Girls,” directed by Andrew Bujalski, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and recently received nominations for Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards.

Haley is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, Gersh, and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.

About Barbie Ferreira
Barbie Ferreira is best known for her role as Kat on the HBO hit show “Euphoria.” The show marked her return to HBO having previously appeared on Sarah Jessica Parker’s, “Divorce.” Time Magazine named Ferreira one of the Most Influential Teens globally for her influence in giving a platform to women on topics like self-empowerment, representation, and body diversity in fashion. Ferreira also starred in her own Vice series exploring facets of social etiquette entitled “How to Behave,” for which she won a Webby Award as Best Web Personality/Host.

She is repped by Aperture Talent Agency, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.

September 27, 2019 UPDATE:

Ellen DeGeneres (Photo by Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)

HBO Max, the upcoming direct-to-consumer offering from WarnerMedia set to launch in the spring of 2020, has teamed up with Emmy® Award Winner Ellen DeGeneres, ordering three original shows straight to series: “Ellen’s Home Design Challenge,” “First Dates Hotel,” and “Little Ellen,” as well as docu-series “Finding Einstein” in development. DeGeneres announced the pickups today on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and didn’t stop there. She also surprised her audience with a two-year HBO Max subscription in celebration of the news.

“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,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer, HBO Max and president, TNT, TBS, and truTV. “Ellen’s flair for home design and matchmaking will most certainly inspire and delight – but HBO Max is full service, so as not to leave the kids out she’s bringing them back to the hilarious misadventures of her childhood in an imaginative animated series.”

Ellen DeGeneres added, “I’m very excited to bring my new shows to HBO Max. I don’t know who Max is, but I can’t wait to work with him.”

In “Ellen’s Home Design Challenge,” design aficionado DeGeneres is giving 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 humorous, colorful 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.

“Little Ellen” is a 2D animated children’s show that explores the world through the eyes of a hilarious and unpredictable seven-year-old Ellen DeGeneres. On her adventures in her musical hometown of New Orleans, Little Ellen takes big risks and makes big mistakes, but she’s always able to laugh at herself and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. The 40-episode quarter-hour series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Ellen Digital Ventures. DeGeneres, Kevin A. Leman II, and Sam Register serve as executive producers. Jennifer Skelly is a co-executive producer and Jason Blackman is a producer.

“First Dates Hotel” takes matchmaking to new heights. Based on the hit UK format devised by Twenty Twenty Productions, Ltd., this charming dating series set at an affluent boutique hotel will find single people from multiple generations gathering for an intensive and tailor-made romantic experience. After fun, amusing and potentially disastrous dates at the hotel restaurant, poolside and under the stars, if the potential lovers like each other, they can choose to stay on for a second date in the hopes of finding out if they’re ultimately a match. Produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television in association with Shed Media, A Very Good Production and Twenty Twenty Productions Limited, DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Pam 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” is an inspiring docu-series, blessed by the Einstein estate, that will seek out, celebrate and support a fresh generation of Einsteins. Some may be a stone’s throw away …others may be in a tiny village halfway around the world…all of them are motivated to live up to Einstein’s ideal of changing the world for the better. The series is executive 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.

October 9, 2019 UPDATE:

HBO Max continues to expand its storehouse of exceptional content by ordering 8 episodes each of two unscripted kids competition series, Karma and Craftopia. Karma, an hour-long series, will be hosted by Michelle Khare, an extreme lifestyle enthusiast with almost 2 million followers on YouTube, and Craftopia, a half-hour series, will be hosted by Lauren Riihimaki, aka LaurDIY, one of YouTube’s top creators with over 21 million followers across all her social platforms. Both social media gurus are known for inspiring their followers to think creatively and follow their dreams.

“We are giving kids an opportunity to show us their absolute best as they strive for excellence in both challenging and creative situations,” said Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president, original content, 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.”

Karma, currently in production, takes 16 contestants, ranging in age from 12 to 15, completely off the grid to solve puzzles and overcome physical challenges, with the laws of karma setting the rules. This adventure competition series hosted by YouTube sensation Michelle Khare, will test the mental and physical stamina of its young contestants as they unravel how their social actions impact their success in the game. Focus, giving, humility, growth, connection, change and patience are the path to becoming the “Karma Champion.” But more importantly, the players learn one of life’s most profound lessons: “What you give out, you get back.”

Karma 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. “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!”

Craftopia is an epic kids crafting competition show hosted and executive produced by Lauren Riihimaki,  who was deemed the “millennial Martha Stewart” by Forbes. On Craftopia, 9-to-15-year old contestants put their imaginations to the test and make their crafting dreams come true in a magical studio. After racing to fill up their carts with inspiring materials from the studio “store,” crafters meet larger-than-life challenges, making the most amazing creations the world has ever seen. Production will begin later this year.

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

“Kids are so incredibly inventive. They look at an empty cardboard box and a paper towel roll and see a pirate ship with a telescope.” said Bachner and Meagher. “So with Craftopia, we are thrilled to work with HBO Max to see what happens when we give ingenious kids a store full of every material imaginable.”

October 15, 2019 UPDATE:

“Grease: Rydell High” (Image courtesy of HBO Max)

HBO Max has ordered Grease: Rydell High, a musical series inspired by the 1978 Golden Globe® nominated film Grease. A joyous musical series set in and around the world of Rydell High, the show reimagines the global smash hit movie with some characters you already know, and a whole lot more you will soon meet.  It’s still the 1950s, a world that rocks with big musical numbers from the period combined with new original songs as well. It’s the peer pressures of high school, the horrors of puberty, and the rollercoaster of life in middle America with a modern sensibility that will bring it to life for today’s musical lovers.

“Grease is an iconic pop-culture phenomenon that works for every generation, and I’m thrilled that our friends at Paramount were excited about the idea of opening up the show and putting it on a larger canvas for a weekly series,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “This is high school and life in small-town USA told on the scale of a big rock’n’roll musical. It’s Grease 2.0 but with the same spirit, energy, and excitement you immediately think of when you hear any of these iconic songs. You’re the One That I Want!

Said Nicole Clemens, President of Paramount Television, “Grease is one of the most beloved Paramount titles and it’s a thrill to be re-imagining it for today’s audience with our good friends at Temple Hill and Picturestart. When Bob Greenblatt called about bringing it to television, we knew we would be in the perfect hands because of our great working relationship with HBO Max and Bob’s genuine passion for musicals and Grease in particular.”

Picturestart and Temple Hill will serve as executive producers and Paramount Television and Picturestart will produce the series. Additionally, Temple Hill, Picturestart and Paramount Pictures are in development on a feature film prequel to Grease, entitled Summer Lovin’. 

October 16, 2019 UPDATE:

HBO Max pays tribute to the epic origin stories of the LGBTQ+ movement with EQUAL, a masterful four-part docu-series that captures the gripping and true backstories of the leaders and unsung heroes, pre-Stonewall, who changed the course of American history through their tireless activism. These warriors gave voice, often in a life or death battle, to millions of people yearning for equality and the desire to be themselves.

Each hour-long episode in the series plays like a thriller, bringing to life the high stakes and hard deadlines of historical events that have not yet been given their due. EQUAL honors the rebels of yesteryear through high-end re-enactments, never-before-seen footage, and captures the emotions of the times with messages just as relevant today.

Over the course of the series, viewers will meet a wide range of LGBTQ+ pioneers, including: Harry Hay, a gay rights activist and the founder of the modern gay movement; The Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian civil and political rights organization; Christine Jorgensen, transgender woman who flew to Europe in 1951 to undergo sex reassignment surgery and publicly transitioned; and gay rights and African American rights leader Bayard Rustin. Part four chronicles The Stonewall Riots from start to finish as well as the first Pride, the year after Stonewall.

“In June, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which shepherded in a new era for LGBTQ+ pride. While we know the story behind that fateful summer night, there’s a lot of fascinating, untold history of the patriots, artists, and thinkers who paved the way,” said Jennifer O’Connell, Executive Vice President of Original Non-fiction and Kids Programming, HBO Max. “It’s time to share their heroic tales, and we could not have more perfect partners in Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti, Jon Jashni and Scout to introduce our HBO Max audience to these historical trailblazers.”

“We are extremely proud to partner with these groundbreaking producers on a subject this important, at a time this critical,” said Mike Darnell, President, Unscripted & Alternative Television at Warner Bros. “What a perfect project to launch Warner Horizon Unscripted Television’s new documentary series unit.”

EQUAL is executive produced and led by Scout Productions’ Emmy Award-winning team David Collins, Academy Award® winner Michael Williams (The Fog of War) and Rob Eric (Queer Eye) and Joel Chiodi along with Emmy nominated Berlanti Productions’ Greg Berlanti (Love, SimonArrowRiverdale, The Flash) and Sarah Schechter (SupergirlRiverdale), Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang TheoryThe Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band) and Emmy nominee Todd Spiewak (SpecialYoung Sheldon, A Kid Like Jake) from That’s Wonderful Productions, Jon Jashni (Lost in Space) from Raintree Ventures, and Mike Darnell and Brooke Karzen, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.

October 17, 2019 UPDATE:

HBO Max will bring the wonder of Japan’s legendary, Oscar®-winning animation house, Studio Ghibli, to its slate of premium content that will be available at launch in the spring of 2020. HBO Max will be the US streaming home to the entire Studio Ghibli film library, one of the world’s most coveted and revered animation catalogues. The landmark deal with North American distributor GKIDS for the twenty-one Studio Ghibli feature films marks the first time these beloved films have been licensed to a streaming platform.

Available at launch of the service will be the Academy Award®-winning Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Castle in the Sky, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and more.

“Studio Ghibli films are visually breathtaking, completely immersive experiences” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer, HBO Max and President, TNT, TBS, and truTV. “Exciting, enchanting, and deeply humanistic, these wonderful films have captured people’s hearts around the world, and we are proud to showcase them in an accessible way for even more fans through HBO Max.”

“We are excited to be working with HBO Max to bring the complete collection of Studio Ghibli films to streaming audiences in the US. As a premium content brand, HBO Max is an ideal home for our films,” said Koji Hoshino, Chairman of Studio Ghibli.  “Upon launch of the service this spring, existing Ghibli fans will be able enjoy their favorites and delve deeper into the library, while whole new audiences will be able to discover our films for the first time.”

Studio Ghibli is one of the most acclaimed and influential animation studios in the world, inspiring filmmakers and audiences alike over the last 30 years with beloved stories and breathtaking visuals. Under the brilliance of visionary animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and producer Toshio Suzuki, the studio’s films have won countless international awards, including an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature for Spirited Away, as well as four additional Academy Award® nominations for Howl’s Moving CastleThe Wind RisesThe Tale of The Princess Kaguya, and When Marnie Was There. Director and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki was separately given an Honorary Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards in 2014, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will pay tribute to his artwork with a special exhibit when the Museum opens in 2020.

Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed catalog of films include:

Castle in the Sky
The Cat Returns
From Up On Poppy Hill
Howl’s Moving Castle
Kiki’s Delivery Service
My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Ocean Waves
Only Yesterday
Pom Poko
Ponyo
Porco Rosso
Princess Mononoke
The Secret World of Arrietty
Spirited Away
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
Tales From Earthsea
When Marnie Was There
Whisper of the Heart
The Wind Rises (launching Fall 2020)


About Studio Ghibli
Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 by animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and is one of the most successful and well-respected animation studios in the world. Cultivating a creative force of talented directors, animators, and storytellers under the revered brilliance of Miyazaki and Takahata, Studio Ghibli’s films have been praised for their originality, dazzling animation, and epic storytelling. The films have become a beloved part of Japanese popular culture and have garnered worldwide acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature of 2002 and in 2005 Miyazaki was named one of “the most influential people” by TIME Magazine.

About GKIDS
GKIDS is a producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored eleven Best Animated Feature Oscar® nominations for their titles, including eight in the past six years. Current and upcoming releases include Promare from Studio TRIGGER and Weathering With You from director Makoto Shinkai. GKIDS also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited AwayMy Neighbor TotoroPrincess Mononoke and others. GKIDS is the producer of ANIMATION IS FILM, an annual animation film festival taking place Oct 18-20, 2019 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood.
gkids.com  animationisfilm.com

October 17, 2019 UPDATE:

Melissa McCarthy (Photo by Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment)

Adding to its slate of premium content from leading industry powerhouses, HBO Max has picked up Superintelligence, an original film starring beloved Oscar-nominated actress Melissa McCarthy (Spy, The Heat, Bridesmaids). Directed by Ben Falcone (Life of the PartyTammy) and written by Steve Mallory (The Boss), the comedy is slated to premiere on HBO Max when the service launches in Spring 2020.

With a star-studded cast, including Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man and the Wasp, upcoming Motherless Brooklyn), Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta, Widows), Jean Smart (Fargo, Life Itself) and James Corden (upcoming Cats, Peter Rabbit, Into the Woods), Superintelligence tells the story of Carol Peters (McCarthy), to whom nothing extraordinary ever happens. But when she starts getting snarky backtalk from her TV, phone and microwave, she thinks she’s being punked. Or losing her mind. In fact, the world’s first superintelligence has selected her for observation, taking over her life…with a bigger, more ominous plan to take over everything. Now Carol is humanity’s last chance before this artificial intelligence-with-an-attitude decides to pull the plug.

“We used the A.I. from Superintelligence to look at every single platform in the world, and then used its super knowledge and big artificial brain-like thing to determine that HBO Max was the right home for our film,” laughed McCarthy and Falcone.

“This is the perfect high concept comedy with an artist we all love to work with, and shows the top caliber of talent we’re bringing to HBO Max,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer, HBO Max and President, TNT, TBS and truTV.

“The pairing of HBO Max with the tremendous talent of Melissa and Ben demonstrates the advantage of collaboration across WarnerMedia, and our ability to work with our creative partners to determine the distribution platform that will deliver the greatest success for their projects,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Falcone and McCarthy also produced Superintelligence, alongside Rob Cowan, whose credits include the Falcone/McCarthy comedy Tammy and the Conjuring films.

October 18, 2019 UPDATE:

Gary Janett and Brad Goreski (Photo courtesy of Brad Goreski)

HBO Max, the upcoming direct-to-consumer offering from WarnerMedia set to launch in spring of 2020, has ordered a lifestyle follow-doc series Brad & Gary Go To… (working title). The six-episode series will follow Hollywood power couple, Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti, as they go on a jet-setting culinary adventure around the globe, inspired by their Instagram stories.

“Brad and Gary have become an Internet sensation and it was actually their over one million followers who requested this series. These same fans also helped turn Gary’s go to Starbucks order into a viral sensation known as ‘The Gary.’ said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max.We can’t wait to travel the world with them and capture their fabulousness and hilarity.”

Brad Goreski is one of the hottest celebrity stylists in the industry and his A-list clients are a fixture on “Best Dressed” lists. From The Rachel Zoe Project to his own show on Bravo It’s a Brad Brad World to Fashion Police and Live from the Red Carpet Brad has become a trusted expert in the fashion industry. He has traveled the world styling clients, photoshoots and campaigns and has served as the brand stylist for Kate Spade for four years.

Gary Janetti is an Emmy nominated producer and writer of Family GuyWill & Grace, and Vicious, among others.  His first book, Do You Mind If I Cancel? is set for release on October 22, 2019. Gary is currently making a lot of noise with his Instagram account garnering international media attention with his satire of British Royals through the eyes of young Prince George of Cambridge.

The series will be produced by Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti as well as Purveyors of Pop (Married to MedicineEx on the Beach, Lady Gang, and Real Housewives of Miami) and Entertainment One (eOne). Matt Anderson, Nate Green, and Cooper Green will serve as executive producers for Purveyors of Pop and Tara Long for (eOne).


Purveyors of Pop

Purveyors of Pop is an independent entertainment company producing cutting-edge programming across multiple platforms. Founded in 2010 by veteran executive producers Matt Anderson and Nate Green, POP specializes in programming at the forefront of the pop culture zeitgeist. Known for their string of hit TV series, the duo has developed and produced shows ranging from MTV’s The Ashlee Simpson Show to Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise, where they have executive produced over 200 episodes. Under the POP banner, the outfit has produced series for major cable networks including Bravo (Married To Medicine Atlanta/Los Angeles/Houston, Real Housewives of Miami), MTV (Ex On The Beach), E! (Lady Gang), VH1 (Love & Listings), Lifetime (Jordin Sparks: A Baby Story), and A&E (Psychic Tia).

About Entertainment One
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a global independent studio that specializes in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The Company’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales; family programming, merchandising and licensing; digital content; and live entertainment. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.

Entertainment One’s robust network includes international feature film distribution company Sierra/Affinity; Amblin Partners with DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, and Reliance Entertainment; Makeready with Brad Weston; unscripted television production companies Whizz Kid Entertainment, Renegade 83, and Daisybeck Studios; live entertainment leaders Round Room Live; world-class music labels Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang; innovative music platform Audio Network; and award-winning emerging content and technology studio Secret Location.

October 18, 2019 UPDATE:

Amy Schumer (Photo courtesy of Amy Schumer)

HBO Max, the upcoming direct-to-consumer offering from WarnerMedia set to launch in the spring of 2020, has ordered the documentary Expecting Amy (working title) from Emmy® Award Winner Amy Schumer.

The unfiltered documentary shows the struggle, strength and ambition that has made Schumer one of the singular comic voices of all time. It takes viewers behind-the-scenes as Schumer goes through an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy while touring to prepare for a stand-up special. From hospitalizations to going out in front of a crowd of thousands, to quiet moments at home with her family, Schumer shares it all. Beginning the day she found out she was pregnant, through the birth of her child, she showcases her incredible journey on the road, revealing just how challenging it can be working night after night, week after week, with no regrets or excuses. Expecting Amy (wt) offers a hilarious and raw 360 degree look at this new stage of her life. With her family and colleagues along for the ride to support her and keep her sane and balanced, she does it all with perseverance, heart and the priceless sense of humor she’s known for.

“Amy Schumer is an inspiration and this project is such an honest look at her experience being on the road while preparing for her special,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max.“Her willingness to showcase her immense vulnerability, during the most challenging time in her life, is both empowering and hilarious.”

”Women are warriors, every one of us. And I hope sharing my story brings more awareness to the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth,” said Schumer.

Produced by Schumer, Expecting Amy (wt) is being edited by Alexander Hammer, who previously edited Homecoming for Beyoncé.

 

October 21, 2019 UPDATE

Monica Lewinsky (Photo courtesy of A&E)

HBO Max has picked up the groundbreaking documentary 15 Minutes of Shame from executive producers Monica Lewinsky and Max Joseph (MTV’s Catfish). Produced by Six West, the documentary features Joseph with appearances by Lewinsky as they take an in-depth look at the public shaming epidemic in our culture and explore our collective need to destroy one another.

15 Minutes of Shame features well known, bold-faced names and is a timely, irreverent roller-coaster ride through the world of public shaming. Using follow-doc storytelling, social experiments, and the examination of social behavior, this documentary film will feature individuals from around the globe who have been publicly shamed – while exploring the bullies, the bystanders, the media, psychologists, politicians and experts in between. 15 Minutes of Shame is about one of the most pressing and unaddressed issues of modern life, brought to you by the people who know it best.

“Monica Lewinsky is an anti-bullying activist with unparalleled authority, making her the perfect partner for this project,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “And Max’s strong advocacy for social justice and distinctive storytelling make him particularly well-suited to explore this complex modern phenomenon.”

Lewinsky’s impactful work includes her 2015 TED Talk “The Price of Shame,” which has garnered over 16 million views, as well as several award-winning anti-bullying campaigns including 2018’s “Defy the Name” and 2017’s Emmy-nominated “In Real Life.” Joseph is an award-winning filmmaker who has made over 100 shorts, commercials, and viral videos. He directed and co-wrote the feature film We Are Your Friends (acquired by Warner Bros in 2015) and his non-fiction work has been featured at Sundance, Telluride, SXSW, and the Cannes Creativity Festival where he won a Cannes Lion. Joseph co-hosted and executive produced MTV’s Catfish for seven seasons.

Steve Ascher and Kristy Sabat serve as executive producers for Six West.

October 21, 2019 UPDATE:

The Ho Family (Photo by Tuong Van Nguyen)

HBO Max cordially invites you into the opulent, over-the-top world of the Ho family with a series order for a new docu-series from Lionsgate TV, The Ho’s (working title). The inaugural season of this comedic, full-hearted doc style series in the spirit of Crazy Rich Asians will include 8 thirty-minute episodes.

Led by patriarch Binh Ho and his wife, Hue Ho, the power couple immigrated from Vietnam to the United States with little money, relying on hard work to establish the ultimate American dream. They have built a multi-million dollar bank, a real estate development company and a new generation of American Ho’s. The series pulls back the curtain of their lavish Houston lifestyle and showcases the tight family connections that unite them as well as the multi-generational outrageous drama that ensues. While Binh and Hue have laid down a golden foundation for their children, Judy Ho and Washington Ho (yes, named after the nation’s founding father and whose kids are named Lincoln and Roosevelt), they are not exempt from the constant pressure to achieve and to live up to their parents’ lofty expectations. Despite the power struggles, at the end of the day, the Ho household is filled with love, laughter, and a few designer handbags, of course.

“Rarely do you come across a family that is so rich in so many ways – not just in wealth, but in heart, traditions and love for each other,” said Jennifer O’Connell, Executive Vice President of Original Non-fiction and Kids Programming, HBO Max. “There’s great pride in being a Ho and they are ready to give the world a seat at their luxurious table.”

“The Ho family is wildly engaging and we’re very excited to partner with HBO Max in bringing this hilarious and exuberant series to viewers,” said Alice Dickens-Koblin, Lionsgate SVP and Head of Unscripted Programming.

The Ho family tree includes:

Binh Ho, 71, despite being the super strict patriarch of the Ho family, Binh has nothing but good intentions. Originally from Vietnam, his hard work has paid off and he is now the owner of a successful bank. Although Binh is living the ‘American Dream’ he feels the need to control every move his children make.

Hue Ho, 66, is Binh’s loving wife and the matriarch of the family. Hue is always the perfect looking, highly critical mom who thinks her children can do no wrong. She often defends the children when Binh seems unreasonable, especially over Washington’s hard-partying ways. Her love for her family is rivaled only by her love of cooking, which is on full display at the weekly Sunday dinner she hosts. The authentic Vietnamese fare is mouth-watering but the drama at the table is even juicier.

Judy Ho, 39, is the first born of Binh and Hue Ho. The self-pegged responsible and reliable one, Judy was the perfect candidate to become a lawyer and did so with flying colors as she is the consummate perfectionist. She is a mom to three kids and is going through a divorce.

Washington Ho, 38, is the “former” playboy of the family with a reputation of dating questionable women and partying way too hard. Once he met Lesley, his future wife who would eventually steal his heart, he was forced to settle down … a little. Now, he’s a devoted father of two adorable kids, Roosevelt and Lincoln, but all of this is about to change as he attempts to prove he’s a changed man and ready to step out of his father’s looming shadow – he just hasn’t quite figured out how.

Lesley Ho, 34, is Washington’s independent, outspoken, down-to-earth and loving Vietnamese-American wife who juggles being the mother of their two beautiful children with her career as a pharmacist. Growing up in a small town, middle-class family in Oklahoma, she’s had to adjust to the over the top lifestyle that comes with being a Ho.

Aunt Tina, 58, is the Aunt that likes to be noticed and makes sure that everybody does. From her purple streaked hair to her tight dresses, Aunt Tina is all about…well, Tina. She likes to work hard and play harder. As one of the younger immigrants of the Ho family, she grew up in Vietnam before following in her older brother’s footsteps and moving to America.

Cousin Sammy, 29, should probably have her life a little more together but instead, lives for the moment even if it doesn’t always work in her favor. Since she and Washington are so close, he decided to offer her a job as his head of marketing.

From Wallin Chambers Entertainment in association with Lionsgate Television, the series is executive produced by Katy Wallin and Stephanie Bloch Chambers. Amanda Ly and Rosalina Lydster serve as co-executive producers with casting by Peter Huntley. Wallin Chambers Entertainment and the Ho family are represented by UTA.

October 22, 2019 UPDATE:

Lisa Ling (Photo by Jeremy Freeman for CNN)

HBO Max has greenlit travel docuseries Birth, Wedding, Funeral as part of an overall deal with Lisa Ling. Each episode of the series will immerse viewers in a different country to reveal their cultures through the lens of the three universal rituals—births, weddings, and funerals. In a quest to understand what connects us and celebrate the diversity of deeply rooted customs around the world, each episode is a riveting investigation of the human experience in a specific region, and a dramatic dive into an intimate moment in the lives of the people who live there.

As host of CNN Original Series This is Life with Lisa Ling, currently airing its sixth season, this deal marks an expansion of Ling’s relationship with WarnerMedia. As part of her overall deal, HBO Max will have a first look at new projects she will continue to develop for the streamer.

“We are living in a deeply polarized world and I am elated for the opportunity to bring us closer to one another through stories about the most defining moments in people’s lives: their Births, Weddings and Funerals,” said Lisa Ling.

“As part of the CNN family, Lisa has carved out a unique space for herself using her style of gritty, investigative journalism to drive at the heart of every human story she tells,” said Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president, original content, HBO Max. “Birth, Wedding, Funeral takes audiences on a global journey through a range of societies, exploring the rituals around three critical life events and we are eager to bring this illuminating storytelling to our HBO Max audience.”

The concept of Birth, Wedding, Funeral was created by legendary journalist Dan Rather, Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre. The series is produced by Part2 Pictures, with Ling executive producing alongside Rather (60 Minutes, The Big Interview) and Philip Kim for News and Guts.

“Over the course of my many travels, I have always welcomed the chance to learn about the world’s varied cultures through how they experience life’s most intimate and transformative benchmarks,” said Dan Rather. “I am thrilled that Lisa, a skilled and compassionate storyteller, will bring these moments into our homes and allow us to renew our faith in the common bonds of humanity.”

October 23, 2019 UPDATE:

(Image courtesy of HBO Max)

HBO Max is re-crystallizing the Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning smash hit Adventure Time greenlighting four new one-hour specials titled Adventure Time: Distant Lands that will premiere exclusively on HBO Max with the first two set to debut on the streamer in 2020.

These four new specials will continue the Adventure Time stories that captured imaginations and introduced unlikely heroes Finn and Jake, best buds who traversed the mystical Land of Ooo and encountered its colorful inhabitants.

“The enchanted world of Adventure Time has mesmerized viewers and critics alike as Finn and Jake right wrongs and battle evil,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “The addition of these specials to the HBO Max kids and family programming lineup is sure to make kids everywhere say ‘Slam-bam-in-a-can!’”

The first two specials, BMO and Obsidian are set to premiere on the streamer in 2020 followed by Wizard City and Together Again.

  • BMO follows the lovable little robot from Adventure Time. When there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, there’s only one hero to call, and it’s probably not BMO. Except that this time it is!
  • Obsidian features Marceline & Princess Bubblegum as they journey to the imposing, beautiful Glass Kingdom—and deep into their tumultuous past—to prevent an earthshaking catastrophe.
  • Wizard City follows Peppermint Butler, starting over at the beginning, as just another inexperienced Wizard School student. When mysterious events at the campus cast suspicion on Pep, and his checkered past, can he master the mystic arts in time to prove his innocence?
  • Together Again brings Finn and Jake together again, to rediscover their brotherly bond and embark on the most important adventure of their lives.

Adventure Time was a groundbreaking series and a creative playground for so many talented creative artists,” said Rob Sorcher, Chief Content Officer, Cartoon Network Studios. “Producing Adventure Time: Distant Lands for HBO Max will allow our studio to explore this beloved world in an all-new format.”

Created by Pendleton Ward and executive produced by Adam Muto, Adventure Time is a critically decorated show that garnered numerous entertainment awards and cultivated a generation of talent who have helmed such hits as Steven Universe, Over the Garden Wall, and Clarence. Adventure Time: Distant Lands is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

October 24, 2019 UPDATE:

“gen:LOCK” (Image courtesy of Rooster Teeth)

HBO Max as picked up gen:LOCK for a second season following its success as Rooster Teeth’s newest animated series. Starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther), the half-hour animated series focuses on a near-future dystopia undergoing a new, technologically driven world war. gen:LOCK originally premiered on Rooster Teeth. Season 2 of gen:LOCK will premiere on HBO Max and 90 days later will be available on Rooster Teeth for FIRST members.

Fifty years in the future, gen:LOCK tells the story of an oppressive authoritarian force that threatens to conquer the world. A daring team is recruited to pilot a new form of devastating mecha, but they must be willing to sacrifice everything to save the world.

Dakota Fanning (The Alienist, Twilight Saga), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones, Early Man, New Mutants), Golshifteh Farahani (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), and David Tennant (Jessica Jones, Dr. Who) are all set to return to the series along with Jordan.

“We are proud to bring gen:LOCK’s bold vision, inventive style, and extraordinary cast to HBO Max, and to build on the success that our partners at Rooster Teeth and Outlier Society have crafted so skillfully,” said Billy Wee, senior vice president original animation, HBO Max.

“We’re beyond excited to be producing a second season of gen:LOCK for HBO Max,” said Matt Hullum, co-founder and Chief Content Officer at Rooster Teeth. “Billy Wee and the team at HBO Max have been incredibly supportive in the development process, and we’re thrilled to be working closely with them on this project. We were blown away by the response to the first season of this show, both by the Rooster Teeth community and the Adult Swim audience, and cannot wait to bring it to more fans of action, sci-fi, and mecha animation.”

gen:LOCK is executive produced by Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society, along with Rooster Teeth’s Matt Hullum and Ryan P. Hall. The series is produced by Rooster Teeth’s in-house animation studio.

October 24, 2019 UPDATE:

HBO Max has greenlit four original unscripted projects from CNN for the streamer. The slate includes Heaven’s Gate and Generation Hustle (wt) from CNN Original Series and two feature-length documentaries, The Scoop and Persona (wt) from CNN Films – each offering a compelling lens through which the modern world comes into focus.

“We are tremendously inspired by CNN’s history of award-winning documentary storytelling and journalistic integrity,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “This slate of projects with CNN demonstrates our power as a media family to create quality programming that covers the captivating and critical issues of today.”

“We are so pleased to produce original nonfiction projects with HBO Max and to release new content from CNN Films and CNN Original Series via a streaming partner that complements our brands and creative goals,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.  “We look forward to partnering on future projects as well.”

Heaven’s Gate is an intimate, four-part HBO Max original from CNN Original Series that explores the infamous religious movement and the stranger-than-fiction circumstances that culminated in the biggest mass suicide to ever take place on U.S. soil. It is a raw, honest depiction of the shared experiences of those directly involved with the group, and those closely affected by it. Directed and executive produced by Clay Tweel, Heaven’s Gate is produced by Campfire, the scripted and nonfiction production company from prolific television and film producer Ross Dinerstein (The Innocent Man, 2018; Stephen King’s 1922, 2017), and Chris Bannon, Eric Spiegelman, Peter Clowney, and Erik Diehn for the digital media company Stitcher (Heaven’s Gate podcast, Sold in America podcast).

Generation Hustle (w.t.) is a 10-part HBO Max original from CNN Original Series about the lengths young people will go to for fame, fortune, and power. From the Academy Award- and Emmy® Award-winning Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions (The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, 2019; Death Row Stories for CNN Original Series, 2014; Dirty Money, 2018), the series will be executive produced by Yon Motskin, Stacey Offman, and Richard Perello.

The Scoop (w.t.) is a documentary feature produced by CNN Films and will follow the exhilarating and exhausting lives of CNN’s fearless female political reporters as they cover the most unpredictable presidential campaign in American history. This behind-the- scenes documentary draws from unprecedented access to the campaign press corps and reveals how these powerhouse political reporters deal with the candidates as well as with the challenges of life on the road.

Persona (w.t.) is a documentary feature produced by CNN Films that explores the riveting and unexpected origin story of America’s obsession with personality testing.  Embedded in everything from dating sites to job applications, Persona reveals the profound ways personality testing has formed and influenced the world around us.

“Full Bloom” stars, from left to right: judges Maurice Harris and Elizabeth Cronin with host Simon Lycett. (Photo credits left to right: Maurice Harris, Marta Sasinowska and Mark Waugh)

HBO continues to blossom ordering Full Bloom, an eight-episode, hour long competition series featuring 10 of America’s budding florists vying to be crowned America’s best.

With incredible artistic creations and floristry face-offs, Full Bloom will allow audiences to escape into a surreal world as contestants will design and execute some of the most wondrous, Wonka-esq floral creations ever seen. Each episode features themed challenges centered around a unique stem of the floristry world including fashion, art, events and weddings. Contestant’s designs and creations will be mentored and judged by legendary floristry artists Maurice Harris, Elizabeth Cronin with celebrity florist Simon Lycett serving as host.

Full Bloom will transport viewers into the intricate and fantastically colorful word of competitive floristry,” said Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president, original content, HBO Max. “HBO Max is the trellis for this series to bloom and shine the light on this incredibly beautiful art form.”

“We are thrilled to be working with HBO Max and some of the best floristry artists in the world in this celebration of creativity, color and competition” said Chris Culvenor, CO-CEO of Eureka productions. “It’s a series that lets imagination blossom.”

HBO Max along with the cast and crew of Full Bloom are committed to using all the fantastic creations from this series to brighten someone’s day. At the end of each episode, unsuspecting people will be surprised with a floral extravaganza that we hope inspires everyone to always find time to stop and smell the roses.

Full Bloom is created and produced by Eureka Productions with Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin and Wes Dening serving as executive producers.

October 25, 2019 UPDATE:

Anthony Bourdain (Photo courtesy of CNN)

CNN Films, HBO Max, and Focus Features are partnering for a documentary film about the uncommon life of the late storyteller, explorer, and chef, Anthony Bourdain, to be directed and produced by Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom). Focus Features will first release the documentary exclusively in theaters worldwide before the film premieres on television on CNN and streams via HBO Max. CNN Films and HBO Max will executive produce the film. Neville’s Tremolo Productions will produce the film.

“Morgan is the top of the game when it comes to documentary filmmaking and we’re delighted to be working with him again on this project with our great collaborators at CNN Films and HBO Max,” said Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski.

“We are thrilled that Morgan will bring his singular voice to this film, revealing what we loved so much about Tony. Partnering with Focus Features and HBO Max ensures even more of Tony’s devoted fans will be able to celebrate him,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development, on behalf of CNN Films.

“Anthony Bourdain did more to help us understand each other than just about anyone in the history of television. He connected with people not in spite of his flaws, but because of them. To have the opportunity to tell his story is humbling. CNN is in the DNA of Tony’s work, and the perfect partners in this journey. I’m thrilled to be re-teaming with Focus Features after our journey on Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. I am also happy that HBO Max will make sure Tony’s audience only continues to grow,” said Neville.

Neville has spent more than 20 years making documentary films that illuminate and explore the struggles and triumphs of the human condition. In addition to his Oscar®-winning ’20 Feet from Stardom,’ Neville‘s highly acclaimed body of work also includes the Emmy® Award-winning Best of Enemies (2015) and the Emmy® Award-nominated The Music of Strangers (2015). Neville’s extraordinary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the number one highest-grossing biodoc of all time about Fred Rogers, was also distributed by Focus Features.

“It requires a filmmaker as expert and prolific as Morgan Neville to capture the essence of a raconteur and world explorer like Anthony Bourdain,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “We are honored to partner with CNN Films and Focus Features on this project that is so close to all of our hearts and give viewers the opportunity to celebrate his legacy.”

This project is the third announced film collaboration between CNN Films and HBO Max. Previously announced features include The Scoop (wt) and Persona (wt). In addition to the worldwide theatrical distribution to be managed by Focus Features, the Bourdain documentary will premiere for television on CNN, and HBO Max will stream the film for its subscribers. WarnerMedia is the parent corporation for HBO Max and CNN.

For five years, Bourdain brought a relentless authenticity to his work for CNN, through Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown (CNN Original Series) and CNN Films. Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown was honored with 36 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations and 12 wins, and a George Foster Peabody Award. Bourdain also executive produced a theatrical documentary with CNN Films about a chef who inspired him, Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, in 2016.

Lydia Tenaglia and Christopher Collins, founders of Zero Point Zero Production (ZPZ), creative collaborators with Bourdain for nearly two decades, including the series Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, will be consulting producers for the film. Kimberly Witherspoon, Bourdain’s longtime agent and literary executor, will also serve as a consulting producer. The Bourdain estate will provide access to family photos, home movies, letters, music, and other content that will add greater insights into his work and life.

“Having worked with Anthony Bourdain for close to 20 years, Chris Collins and I felt very protective over the story of his life and the decision on who to direct it. In Morgan Neville’s hands, we are sure to get a nuanced portrait of the complex, wildly creative man we knew,” Tenaglia said.

The deal between CNN Films and HBO Max and Focus Features was negotiated by Stacey Wolf, senior vice president of business affairs for CNN Worldwide, and Stephanie Schroeder, senior vice president for business affairs for direct-to-consumer content for WarnerMedia, on behalf of CNN Films and HBO Max, respectively, with Carol Smithson, vice president for business and legal affairs for Focus Features.

Recently, CNN Films executive produced the Todd Douglas Miller-directed and produced Apollo 11, an archival documentary exploring the historic NASA mission that resulted in humanity’s first steps on the moon and safe return home. The Rob Epstein-, Jeffrey Friedman-directed Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice about the life and musical journey of the legendary singer, also executive produced by CNN Films, is currently in theaters. Scandalous, about the history and cultural influence of the National Enquirer newspaper, is directed by Mark Landsman and will open in theaters Nov. 15.

 

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream partners with UNIQLO to give away free ice cream on National Ice Cream Day 2019

July 1, 2019

(Photo courtesy of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream)

The following is a press release from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream:

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, America’s fastest growing frozen novelty brand is shaking up the category once again by partnering with UNIQLO for an in-store pop up in honor of National Ice Cream Day. On Sunday, July 21st, both brands will come together to deliver fashion, flavor and fun by offering consumers free My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream at UNIQLO locations throughout the United States. My/Mo’s poppable and delicious ice cream wrapped in sweet rice mochi dough will be available for snackers to enjoy as they browse the racks and try on the latest trends.

Shoppers at nine U.S. UNIQLO stores across New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle and Chicago, will be treated to their choice of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. Throughout the day people can experience My/Mo’s classic mochi ice cream offerings like Sweet Mango and Ripe Strawberry as well as flavors from the brand’s new triple layer variety like S’mores and Vanilla Blueberry, which feature a texturally tantalizing core. My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream will be handed out for free at each of the below locations from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M on July 21st. Ice Cream lovers are invited to stop by to join in the celebrations:

  • New York City:
    • UNIQLO 5th Avenue (666 5th Ave.)
    • UNIQLO SoHo (546 Broadway)
  • Los Angeles:
    • UNIQLO Beverly Center (8500 Beverly Blvd.)
    • UNIQLO The BLOC (700 Flower St.)
  • San Francisco:
    • UNIQLO Union Square (111 Powell St.)
  • Washington D.C.:
    • UNIQLO Union Station
  • Boston:
    • UNIQLO Faneuil Hall (245 Quincy Market)
  • Seattle:
    • UNIQLO Southcenter (141 Southcenter Mall)
  • Chicago:
    • UNIQLO Michigan Avenue (830 Michigan Ave.)

“UNIQLO is an authentic and natural partner for us this National Ice Cream Day. My/Mo and UNIQLO are each disrupting our respective industries with new takes on snacking and fashion,” said Russell Barnett, CMO of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. “UNIQLO shares in our love of color and play and we’re ready to bring this energy and enthusiasm to snackers across the country.”

The fun won’t stop with in-store treats! To keep the celebration going beyond National Ice Cream Day, shoppers can enter to win a year’s supply of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, a $500 UNIQLO shopping spree, and other exciting prizes.

For more information on My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream and UNIQLO, please visit www.mymomochi.com and www.uniqlo.com.

About My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream

Headquartered in Los Angeles, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is a miraculous match of magnificent mochi dough with marvelously mouthwatering ice cream. Available in a variety of fan favorite flavors, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream gives snackers a colorful and flavorful new way to experience ice cream in a handheld, naturally portion controlled way. Made from the very best ingredients, always gluten free and rBST free, My/Mo’s offerings range from poppable and delicious ice cream wrapped in sweet rice mochi dough with dairy and vegan offerings, as well as the delectable My/Mo Ice Cream pints filled with pillowy mochi bits.

About UNIQLO LifeWear

Apparel that comes from the Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. Designed to be of the time and for the time, LifeWear is made with such modern elegance that it becomes the building blocks of each individual’s style. A perfect shirt that is always being made more perfect. The simplest design hiding the most thoughtful and modern details. The best in fit and fabric made to be affordable and accessible to all. LifeWear is clothing that is constantly being innovated, bringing more warmth, more lightness, better design, and better comfort to people’s lives.

About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing

UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese retail holding company with global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. UNIQLO is the largest of eight brands in the Fast Retailing Group, the others being GU, Theory, Helmut Lang, PLST (Plus T), Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam and J Brand. With global sales of approximately 2.13 trillion yen for the 2018 fiscal year ending August 31, 2018 (US $19.17 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2018 rate of $1 = 111.1 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies, and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.

UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world’s most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a global brand. Today the company has more than 2,000 stores in 22 markets including Japan. In alphabetical order, the other markets are Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and U.S. In addition, UNIQLO established a social business in Bangladesh together with the Grameen Bank in 2010, and today there are several Grameen-UNIQLO stores in Dhaka.

With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere.  For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit www.uniqlo.com and www.fastretailing.com.

PetSmart gives away free dog-friendly ice cream sundaes for National Ice Cream Day 2019

July 1, 2019

PetSmart
(Photo courtesy of PetSmart)

The following is a press release from PetSmart:

PetSmart® is once again sweetening the celebration for National Ice Cream Day by offering a weekend of free, dog-friendly ice cream topped with dog biscuit treats at PetSmart PetsHotel® locations across North America on Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21.

Dogs can get a four-ounce, complimentary serving of dog-safe ice cream and toppings during normal business hours at all PetSmart stores with PetsHotel facilities while supplies last. The frozen treats are customarily offered as an add-on treat service at Doggie Day Camp and during overnight stays.

“We love seeing pet parents enjoying summertime with their dogs,” said Debbie Beisswanger, vice president of services at PetSmart. “That’s why we’re excited to offer dog-safe ice cream treats for the fifth year in a row during National Ice Cream Day. It’s always a huge hit and a fun way for pets and pet parents to beat the summer heat.”

As part of National Ice Cream Month, National Ice Cream Day is observed each year on the third Sunday in July. PetSmart is encouraging pet parents to share photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram of their pets enjoying National Ice Cream Day using #nationalicecreamday and tagging PetSmart.

To find a PetsHotel location, visit our Store Locator.

About PetSmart®
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs approximately 55,000 associates and operates more than 1,650 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with more than 3,500 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 8 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. In May 2017, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.

Find PetSmart on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/PetSmart
See PetSmart on Instagram: @PetSmart
Follow PetSmart on Twitter: @PetSmart
See PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart
PetSmart homepage: http://www.petsmart.com/

Turn your passion for pets into a career you’ll love! Visit careers.petsmart.com to learn more about corporate, retail store and Distribution Center opportunities.