Ellen DeGeneres is substantially expanding her producing portfolio.
The multi-hyphenate, who signed a three-year extension to her daytime hosting gig earlier this year, is behind four new shows coming to HBO Max, three of which have been handed straight-to-series orders, and one of which has been put in development.
DeGeneres announced the pickups on her talk show and, in typical Ellen fashion, also surprised her audience with a two-year HBO Max subscription in celebration of the news. The three series orders in question are for design competition show “Ellen’s Home Design Challenge,” dating show “First Dates Hotel,” and 2D animated children’s series “Little Ellen.” The show in development is a docu-series titled “Finding Einstein.”
“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,” DeGeneres joked.
All four series come via her overall deal with Warner Bros. They join DeGeneres’ multiple other unscripted projects which include “Ellen’s Game of Games” on NBC, and three holiday specials titled “Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways,” which are also set to air on the Peacock.
“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 at HBO Max and president of 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.”
The nascent streamer is making a clear push into the unscripted space, recently ordering two more shows, one of which also deals with design, as well as adding three execs to its non-fiction team.
Read on for more detailed descriptions of the four DeGeneres shows:
In “Ellen’s Home Design Challenge,” DeGeneres gives eight forward-thinking designers the chance to push their creativity to the limit. Ellen herself 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.
Based on the U.K. format devised by Twenty Twenty Productions, Ltd., “First Dates Hotel” is a dating series set at an affluent boutique hotel which finds single people from multiple generations gathering for an intensive and tailor-made romantic experience. After fun, amusing and potentially disastrous dates, they can choose to stay on for a second one. The series is 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 U.K. version will also be available on HBO Max.
Currently in development, “Finding Einstein” is inspiring docu-series, which has the Einstein estate’s approval, that will seek out, celebrate and support a fresh generation of Einsteins. 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.