Calm App to Become HBO Max Series

Stars including Mahershala Ali, Nicole Kidman and Lucy Liu will provide narration for the show.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Gary Gershoff/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage
Mahershala Ali, Nicole Kidman and Lucy Liu will narrate stories for HBO Max's Calm show.

HBO Max wants to help its subscribers relax.

The WarnerMedia streaming platform is teaming with the makers of the Calm meditation app for a series based on its popular Sleep Stories. HBO Max has ordered 10 episodes of A World of Calm from the app and Nutopia (National Geographic's One Strange Rock), with a host of A-listers set to narrate episodes.

"With the considerable amount of stress and chaos we are all experiencing at this particularly challenging time, we could all use a bit of guided relaxation, and A World of Calm is here to help," said Jennifer O'Connell, executive vp nonfiction and kids programming for HBO Max. "With soothing imagery and tranquil narration, this is one HBO Max original that we hope becomes part of your daily routine."

Each half-hour episode will combine "mesmeric imagery" with stories designed to help users achieve tranquility. Stars signed to narrate episodes include Mahershala Ali, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, Cillian Murphy and Keanu Reeves. 

"We are thrilled to work with such amazing partners as HBO Max and Calm for this new cutting edge endeavor," said Nutopia CEO and founder Jane Root. "Although this collaboration has been in the works for many months, this series has been entirely created during quarantine using Nutopia's worldwide network of award-winning cinematographers and filmmakers. We hope this series of serene stories will bring a sense of much needed calm to audiences."

Added Calm co-founder and co-CEO Michael Acton Smith, "Calm started life as a meditation app, but the brand has evolved far beyond that. We are delighted to bring the magic behind our audio Sleep Stories to the screen for the first time. These experiences are visual Valium and will help people relax and unwind during these stressful times."

A World of Calm is HBO Max's first foray into health and wellness programming. The concept is similar to that of The Daily Chill, a daily meditation show on shortform streamer Quibi. 

Root, Nicola Moody, Smith and Chris Advansun executive produce the series. Sara Brailsford and Fiona Caldwell are co-exec producers.

One of Calm's Sleep Stories is below.