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A Lena Dunham-produced high school dramedy has scored a series pickup at HBO Max.
The WarnerMedia streaming platform has picked up 10 episodes of Generation, co-created by 18-year-old Zelda Barnz and her father, screenwriter Daniel Barnz (Won’t Back Down). The series follows a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community.
HBO Max ordered a pilot for the show in August. Generation becomes the first scripted pilot at the streamer to earn a series pickup; some 20 other projects scored straight-to-series orders.
“Daniel and Zelda are an incredibly passionate team with true vision and authenticity, providing an inside look at the windy path many adolescents have to navigate as they come to terms with their identity and sexuality in Generation,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, said Thursday in a statement.
Added HBO Max chief content officer and TBS, TNT and TruTV president Kevin Reilly, “Zelda has a particular ability to speak to and about her generation with humor and relatability, only brought further to life by this incredible cast. We couldn’t be prouder of a show to mark our first pilot to series order for HBO Max.”
The cast includes Nathanya Alexander, Chloe East, Nava Mau, Lukita Maxwell, Haley Sanchez, Uly Schlesinger, Sam Trammell and Chase Sui Wonders with Justice Smith and Martha Plimpton.
Daniel Barnz also directed the pilot for Generation. He and husband Ben Barnz executive produce via their We’re Not Brothers Productions, along with Girls creator and star Dunham for her Good Thing Going Productions. Zelda Barnz is a co-exec producer, and Marissa Diaz produces for Good Thing Going.
“I wanted to see myself and kids my own age represented on TV in a way that felt real, without judgment or nostalgia,” said Zelda Barnz. “I’m so appreciative of my mentor and soul-sister Lena Dunham for all her support and guidance, and so thankful to HBO Max for making this crazy dream come true.
Said Dunham, “I have fallen head over heels for this brilliant family, who have allowed their 18-year-old daughter Zelda to express herself in a way that’s both effortlessly funny and plumbs the depths of the adolescent experience. Daniel’s direction is sensitive and artful and as a producer, Ben is equally committed to rigor and fun. I cannot wait for people to see Zelda’s brilliance come to life and to meet this insanely impressive cast of honest, powerful performers and I’m so excited to be a part of the soon to be juggernaut of HBO Max.”
In addition to Generation, Dunham directed the pilot for and executive produces Industry, a drama set in the world of international finance, for the linear HBO.
HBO Max is scheduled to launch in May with a roster of originals and a library of TV shows and films from Warner Bros., HBO, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and other WarnerMedia properties, including Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones and The Sopranos. A premiere date for Generation hasn’t been set.
Ben and Daniel Barnz are repped by WME and attorney James Feldman. Zelda Barnz is also repped by Feldman.