HBO Max said Wednesday that it has hired TBS original programming executive Billy Wee as SVP Original Animation and former Nickelodeon and Disney development exec Nikki Reed as VP Kids and Family Scripted Originals. The team will create the slate of family-oriented, animated and scripted originals for the direct-to-consumer service now set to launch spring 2020.
The latest hires for WarnerMedia’s streaming service will report to Jennifer O’Connell, HBO Max’s EVP Original Non-Fiction and Kids.
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WarnerMedia has been filling out its exec structure for HBO Max. On Tuesday, it solidified its digital media and tech exec team.
“Our kids and family team is extraordinary,” O’Connell said in a release announcing the hires. “Billy has extensive experience in animation and strong relationships within the animated creative community, as well as substantial ties with our colleagues at both Warner Brothers Animation and Cartoon Network. Nikki has worked for the industry’s premiere kids and family networks and has developed some of the most popular kids shows. These two are the perfect architects to build our animated and scripted kids and family business with a tone and personality unique to HBO Max.”
Wee, who will also report to EVP Original Comedy and Animation Suzanna Makkos, will oversee all original animated programming — adult animation, kids & family and anime — for HBO Max. He had been at TBS since 2016 where he helped develop series including The Last OG, anthology comedy The Guest Book and the animated Final Space for TBS and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Before that he was at DreamWorks TV and Happy Madison, where he developed and produced on ABC’s The Goldbergs for ABC. At DreamWorks TV, he oversaw drama series The Borgias for Showtime and Terra Nova for Fox.
Reed, who will lead original scripted programming in the kids and family space, most recently was VP Original Series Development at Nickelodeon. Before that she worked at Disney, overseeing Disney Channel and Disney XD and responsible for development of all live-action series (Shake It Up, Lab Rats, Girl Meets World). She also ID’d the Hyperion book series that served as the inspiration for Disney Channel’s Descendants franchise. Her credits including exec producing the Mark Wahlberg pic Invincible and developing National Treasure and The Kid while at Junction Entertainment.
“The kids and family space has a long history at WarnerMedia, from our legendary animation to classic motion pictures, and is now an essential part of HBO Max,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer, HBO Max, President, TNT, TBS & truTV. “We now have a top-notch team to create a slate of original content appealing to kids, tweens, young adults and the whole family.”