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YouTube Stars Michelle Khare, LaurDIY to Host Kids Competition Shows for HBO Max

Variety — Joe Otterson

HBO Max is continuing to build out its children’s programming with series orders for two kids competition series.

The two shows, “Karma” and “Craftopia,” have both received eight-episode orders at the nascent streamer. “Karma” will be hosted by YouTube star Michelle Khare, while “Craftopia” will be hosted by Lauren Riihimaki, aka LaurDIY of YouTube fame. Khare currently boasts nearly 2 million YouTube followers, while Riihimaki has just over 9 million.

“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 of original content for 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, currently in production, takes sixteen contestants, ranging in age from 12 to 15, completely off the grid to solve puzzles and overcome physical challenges, with the contestants social actions impacting their success in the game. Focus, giving, humility, growth, connection, change and patience are the path to becoming the “Karma Champion.”

The series is executive produced by JD Roth, Adam Greener and Sara Hansemenn for GoodStory Entertainment with Fred Pichel serving as showrunner and executive producer.

“Craftopia” is a kids crafting competition show. In the series, 9 to 15-year old contestants race to fill up their carts with crafting materials from the studio “store” in order to make the best craft creations they possibly can. Production will begin later this year.

Craftopia is executive produced by Riihimaki along with Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher for Industrial Media’s B17 Entertainment.

Riihimaki is repped by Select Management Group and Rothenberg, Mohr & Binder. Khare is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.

News of the two series orders comes after HBO Max recently announced multiple executive hires in their kids and family division, as well as a five-season deal that will see “Sesame Street” stream on the service.

(Pictured: Michelle Khare, left; Lauren Riihimaki, right)

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