A new 40 x 15-minute animated children’s series featuring Ellen DeGeneres as an inquisitive seven-year-old is heading to WarnerMedia’s upcoming SVOD service HBO Max.
Set in the TV host’s hometown of New Orleans, Little Ellen shows kids that it’s okay to take risks and make mistakes in life. Warner Bros. Animation and Ellen Digital Ventures are producing with DeGeneres, Kevin A. Leman II and Warner Bros. Entertainment president Sam Register executive producing.
The straight-to-series pickup is part of a broader content deal between the streamer and DeGeneres. A pair of original unscripted series for older audiences—Ellen’s Home Design Challenge and First Dates Hotel—are also getting the straight-to-series treatment, and a docu-series entitled Finding Einstein is in development, too.
A streaming date for Little Ellen has not yet been announced. Little Ellen isn’t Degeneres’ first animated kids production for an SVOD. She’s also a producer on Netflix’s upcoming Green Eggs and Ham series, which launches this fall. The Dr. Seuss adaptation is co-produced by A Very Good Production, A Stern Talking To and Gulfstream Television, in association with Warner Bros. Animation.
HBO Max is set to launch in spring 2020 after new SVOD entrants Apple TV+ and Disney+ bow on November 1 and 12, respectively.
Though HBO Max’s original content lineup mostly targets adults and young adults, Little Ellen will join a few kid-friendly titles, such as Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment’s Gremlins series. More than 10,000 hours of content is expected to hit the service at launch.
The SVOD’s chief content officer Kevin Reilly and original content head Sarah Aubrey are tasked with growing the platform’s kids and family library, and EVP of original non-fiction and kids (including kids animation) Jennifer O’Connell was recently appointed to the team.