Apple TV+ Orders World Surf League Docuseries

Apple TV+ has ordered a six-part documentary series from Box to Box Films and the World Surf League (WSL) offering a behind-the-scenes look at championship surfing.

The series chronicles the aspirations, failures and accomplishments of the world’s best surfers as they battle for the WSL title and struggle to remain on the elite WSL Championship Tour.

Each episode will be an exploration of the characters who make up the 2021 WSL Men’s and Women’s tour, taking viewers on a journey to surfing locations across the globe, starting in Hawaii on Dec. 4, 2020. The docuseries will dive into different surfing cultures, as well as timely subjects tied to the sport including eco-conservation, sustainability and marine preservation.

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The docuseries will be produced for Apple by Box to Box Films and in partnership with the WSL.

HBO Max Orders Competition Series Featuring Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel

HBO Max has ordered eight episodes of “The Big Shot with Bethenny” (working title), a new competition series from MGM Television, Mark Burnett, and reality TV veteran, and producer Bethenny Frankel and her B Real Productions.

In each half-hour episode, the contestants will compete for a chance to be second-in-command to business tycoon and Skinnygirl founder Frankel and win a position working on her executive team. Through a series of real-life tasks and challenges, each aspiring mogul will be tested to see how far they can push their creativity and determination to rise to the top.

“I first met Bethenny when I put her on the first season of ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’ and she’s always both impressed and entertained me,” said Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original non-fiction and kids programming, HBO Max, in a statement. “It’s incredible to see her empire continue to grow and I know that candidates will be clamoring to work for her.”

“Bethenny is that rare talent whose creative instincts are equal to her business acumen and working with her to create this series has been an amazing collaboration,” said Barry Poznick, MGM’s president of unscripted and alternative television and Orion Television, in a statement. “We’re giving fans what they want, access inside Bethenny’s businesses so they can see how she runs her empire, all while offering one fan the chance of a lifetime to join her executive team. We’ve found the perfect home in HBO Max to bring this exclusive opportunity to viewers.”

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“Aside from motherhood, what truly defines me as a person is being a driven, passionate and hard-working woman determined to make the impossible possible,” said Frankel in a statement. “My mantra is to come from a place of ‘yes’ and to find and create the solution. I am an executor of visions, and I share and impart that information to those who work with me. MGM has been neck-in-neck with me with ideas and their execution. I couldn’t be more thrilled to continue my longstanding relationship with Mark Burnett on this series and pay this American Dream story forward.”

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Frankel is a self-made businesswoman, TV producer and multiple New York Times bestselling author. A frequent collaborator of MGM Worldwide Television Group Chairman Mark Burnett, Frankel appeared as a shark on two seasons of ABC’s series “Shark Tank,” and was the series’ highest-rated guest shark to-date. Frankel is the founder and CEO of Skinnygirl, a lifestyle brand offering practical solutions to women, and former star of the popular Bravo series “The Real Housewives of New York City.” In 2011, she was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities by Forbes.

“The Big Shot with Bethenny” is produced by MGM Television, B Real Productions and Big Fish Entertainment. Executive producers are Mark Burnett, Barry Poznick, Bethenny Frankel, Dan Cesareo and Lucilla D’Agostino.

HBO Max Greenlights Christmas-Themed Dating Reality Show

WarnerMedia’s pending HBO Max service has greenlighted the unscripted series “12 Dates of Christmas,” a holiday-inspired dating show to debut next year.

The SVOD service launches in May at $15 monthly.

The series will follow a cast of singles as they step into a real-life romantic comedy full of cozy sweaters, fireside cuddles and mistletoe kisses, all arranged to help them find love — just in time for the holidays.

Their romantic journey begins at a Christmas castle, where the prospective couples will enjoy holiday traditions such as ice skating, sleigh rides and hot toddies after a day in the snow. The singles will ultimately choose a special someone to take home for the holidays.

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“The holidays can be a magical time for budding relationships and where better to find your perfect match than in this real-life fairytale castle in the snow? Viewers can grab some hot cocoa, watch the romance unfold and be charmed right along with these hopeless romantics as they search for a Christmas miracle — true love,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original nonfiction and kids programming, said in a statement.

Netflix to Bow Unscripted Lifestyle Series With Organizers to the Stars

Netflix has begun production on a new lifestyle series featuring Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the duo behind home organization company The Home Edit.

Known for their design-centric approach to arranging and organizing, the New York Times bestselling authors will take on the homes of big-name celebrities and everyday families, according to Netflix. The series follows organizers Shearer and Teplin as they transform the lives of their clients by conquering clutter with their signature style.

Each hour-long episode features two organizational projects shaped by the duo.

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The eight-episode series is executive produced by Molly Sims, Hello Sunshine’s Reese Witherspoon, Charlotte Koh and Cynthia Stockhammer; and Critical Content’s Tom Forman, Jenny Daly and Jon Beyer along with Tess Gamboa Meyers, who will serve as showrunner.

The series joins another lifestyle show about organization from Netflix, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.”