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HBO Ventures into Reality TV Programming

Gettyimages | Presley Ann
By Francesca O'Hern

HBO Max, which will launch this spring, is beginning to expand its horizons by venturing into unscripted territory: The streaming service is currently developing two reality competition series. One will be called Legendary, and will be based around the dance style voguing, while the other will be a design competition called The Greatest Space. This is a very exciting development, as HBO is known for its clever comedies and groundbreaking dramas, but has not yet made waves in the reality genre.

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New Horizons for HBO Max

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Sarah Aubrey, the head of original content at HBO Max, seemed very optimistic about the new series orders. "Unscripted programming will be an incredibly important component of our HBO Max originals, and this is just the beginning of our venture into this space," she told Deadline. Just because Legendray and The Greatest Space are not part of TV's most respected genre, does not mean they won't be held to the high standards expected of HBO programming. “We couldn’t have more accomplished teams behind both of these shows," added Aubrey.

What is Legendary and Who is Involved?

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HBO Max recently secured a hostess of the dance competition show, as well as its panel of judges. Jameela Jamil, The Good Place alumna, will host, while the permanent judges will be Leiomy Maldonado, Megan Thee Stallion, and Law Roach. The series will feature ten voguing teams, or "houses," comprised of five dancers and one "parent." The houses will compete against one another in a ball, which each episode featuring a new event, centered around a different theme. The winning team will be awarded "Legendary" status.

What is 'The Greatest Space'?

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The Greatest Space (a working title) will come to us from producers of The Amazing Race and Scout Productions, who are responsible for Queer Eye. The show will center around ten designers who will travel the world to transform an interesting array of rooms, from living rooms to treehouses, drawing inspiration from some of the most ostentatious and fabulous design spaces on Earth. Each episode will feature a different city but the exact nature of the challenges is still unclear. There will be ten episodes.

HBO Max

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In addition to the two reality competition shows, HBO Max's lineup is already looking strong. With an exciting mix of comedy, drama, and documentary, the service is sure to make waves and be a strong competitor to industry giants such as Netflix and Disney Plus. We already know that Tiffany Haddish will be producing a comedy based on the life of the comedian Aida Rodriguez, and that Gabrielle Union is executive producing a drama called Afro.Punks. HBO Max also acquired the rights to Russel Simmons documentary For the Record at Sundance this year. HBO Max is shaping up to be a TV-lover's dream.

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