HBO Max, the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming platform, is expanding its kids content, giving eight-episode orders to unscripted competition series Karma, from GoodStory Entertainment, and Craftopia from Industrial Media’s B17 Entertainment, hosted by social media stars Michelle Khare and Lauren Riihimaki (aka LaurDIY), respectively. The streaming service is slated to debut in spring 2020.
Production is currently underway on Karma, an hour-long adventure competition series hosted by extreme lifestyle enthusiast Khare. It takes sixteen 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. The series 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.”
Craftopia is described as an epic kids crafting competition show hosted and executive produced by 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, per HBO Max. Production will begin later this year.
Both Khare and Riihimaki are social media gurus known for inspiring their followers to think creatively and follow their dreams; Khare with nearly 2 million followers on YouTube and Riihimaki with over 21 million followers across all her social platforms.
“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 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 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.”
Riihimaki is represented by Select Management Group and Rothenberg, Mohr & Binder. Khare is with Authentic Talent & Literary Management, Abrams Artists Agency and Sharma Law.
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