Ellen DeGeneres announces shows for HBO Max streamer

Ellen DeGeneres is diving into the streaming wars.

  • The talk show star has inked a deal to bring four original series to HBO Max, the streaming platform that WarnerMedia will launch in 2020.
  • DeGeneres’ talk show was one of the early adopters in streaming video, with the launch of EllenTube in 2014.
  • That venture, which is ad supported and includes both extended and exclusive content from her show, has also become home to other exclusive content.

Here’s the shows that are planned:

  • “Ellen’s Home Design Challenge” will give “eight forward-thinking designers the chance to push their creativity to the limit.”
  • In case that sounds familiar, DeGeneres EP’d and appeared in 15 episodes of “Ellen’s Design Challenge” in 2015 for HGTV.
  • “First Dates Hotel” will pair singles from multiple generations in a boutique hotel and is inspired in part by U.K. series “First Dates” and “First Dates Hotel,” which will also be available on HBO Max.
  • A 40 episode “Little Ellen” order is a 2D animated kid’s show that “explores the world through the eyes of a hilarious and unpredictable 7-year-old Ellen DeGeneres.” It will be set in the “musical” hometown of DeGeneres — New Orleans.
  • The final series, “Finding Einstein” is a docuseries in this order, which has reportedly been “blessed by the Einstein estate.” The series is still in development, but will “seek out, celebrate, and support a fresh generation of Einsteins.”
  • As part of the big announcement of the Sept. 27, 2019 edition of her talk show, everyone in the studio audience went home with a two year subscription to HBO Max.

The WarnerMedia connection:

  • DeGeneres’s talk show is produced by Telepictures, which is a Warner Bros. property, and her show tapes on the Warner Bros. lot, which makes it a natural choice for her to enter the streaming world with WarnerMedia.

The NBC issue:

  • The deal is perhaps a bit awkward, however, because “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” airs on NBC O&Os in major markets and the show used to tape on Universal’s lot.
  • In addition, DeGeneres has deals for “Ellen’s Game of Games” and holiday specials on NBC — and NBC is planning its own streaming service, Peacock, in 2020 as well.
  • That said, it’s not uncommon for big names in media to appear across multiple networks and conglomerates and DeGeneres is likely able to leverage her name seek out the best deals for her productions.

The future of “Ellen”:

  • It had been reported that DeGeneres was looking to end her talk show soon, though she did just re-sign a deal that will keep it on the air through 2022.
  • She has, however, been relying more on regular guest hosts (even when she’s not out sick, for example).
  • Some insiders also say she’s been losing interest in the show and often tapes episodes in large chunks so she has other days free to devote to other projects.
  • DeGeneres has reportedly been able to command a astronomical salary and also has been given increasing ownership in her show and shares of its profits in addition to her hosting salary.
  • She has also leveraged her fame into other ventures, including record labels, furniture lines, clothing lines and more.