May 5, 2020
HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s SVOD service set to launch May 27, announced the straight-to-series order of an untitled cooking project starring and executive produced by Selena Gomez; a comedy series starring Jean Smart; and the acquisition of the 2020 Sundance award winner Charm City Kings.
Slated to debut this summer, the unscripted, 10-episode cooking series features multi-platinum selling recording artist, actress, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Gomez as she navigates unfamiliar territory: making delicious meals while stuck at home in quarantine. In each episode, Gomez will be joined remotely by a different master chef. Together, they’ll tackle cuisines of every variety, share tips and tricks, and deal with everything from smoking ovens to missing ingredients. Each episode will highlight a food-related charity.
“We are so excited to have Selena Gomez in our first wave of programming on HBO Max and watch her adventures in the kitchen as she, like many of us, tries to improve her cooking skills during quarantine,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “Blending her determination with top-tier culinary artists is sure to entertain and educate viewers about something we’re all trying to work through — how to make cooking at home exciting, fun and delicious.”
“I’ve always been very vocal about my love of food,” Gomez said in a statement. “I think I’ve been asked hundreds of times in interviews if I had another career, what would I do, and I’ve answered that it would be fun to be a chef. I definitely don’t have the formal training though! Like many of us while being home I find myself cooking more and experimenting in the kitchen.”
HBO Max has also ordered 10 episodes of a single-camera comedy created and written by “Broad City” alums Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky, and starring Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Smart. The series will explore a dark mentorship that forms between a Las Vegas diva (Smart) and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old.
“When this dream team came to us, we jumped at the chance to develop this project, which features two complex female characters working in comedy and facing the professional and personal challenges that come along with it. When Jean Smart came aboard, we were even more delighted to move forward,” Aubrey said in a statement. “We’re excited to be working with this winning combination of talent and confident the show will fit perfectly into our robust slate of HBO Max Originals.”
HBO Max has also acquired worldwide rights to 2020 Sundance award winner Charm City Kings, which will be released under the upcoming platform’s Warner Max label. Charm City Kings won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for its cast that includes Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Meek Mill, Will Catlett, Donielle Hansley, Kezii Curtis, Chino, Lakeyria “Wheelie Queen” Doughty and Teyonah Parris. In the film, Mouse (Di’Allo Winston) desperately wants to join The Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt bike riders who rule the summertime streets. When Midnight’s leader, Blax (Meek Mill), takes 14-year-old Mouse under his wing, Mouse soon finds himself torn between the straight-and-narrow and a road filled with fast money and violence.
HBO Max will be available at $14.99 per month.