In a further expansion of their kids and family programming slate, HBO Max and Cartoon Network are teaming on new live-action coming-of-age comedy series, Home Sweet Rome, from Emmy-nominated Hannah Montana and That’s So Raven creator Michael Poryes, for premiere in 2023.
Home Sweet Rome is based on a concept by Poryes, and developed and written by DeGrassi alums Matt Huether and Courtney Jane Walker, who will both serve as showrunners.
It centers on 13-year-old Lucy, played by Kensington Tallman (Drama Club), who moves from California to start a new life in Rome with her dad and stepmom, Francesca (Eleonora Facchini) – who happens to be an Italian pop star! With new friends, amazing food, haute fashion, and a best friend who is thousands of miles away, Lucy discovers what the meaning of “When in Rome” is all about as her adventures abroad get underway. As Lucy learns to adapt to her new city, new school, and new life, she’s also navigating through the growing pains of being a teenager, and the additional challenge of her best friend, Kyla, being 6000 miles away. Additional casting for the series is still underway.
The series will be shot on location in Rome and feature original songs in each episode. Home Sweet Rome is an Italian-Canadian co-production by Italy’s Red Monk Studio, a SuperProd Group company, and Canada’s First Generation Films. Executive producers are Pedro Citaristi of Red Monk Studio and Christina Piovesan of First Generation Films, along with Doug Schwalbe, Jérémie Fajner, and Clement Calvet of SuperProd Group, Matt Huether, Courtney Jane Walker, and Michael Poryes.
HBO Max and Cartoon Network also announced two live-action one-hour specials based on the Mattel American Girl franchise. The first is American Girl: Corinne Tan (working title), inspired by the doll brand’s 2022 Girl of the Year and the first of Chinese descent. American Girl: Corinne Tan is produced by Mattel Television and MarVista Entertainment. It’s scheduled to premiere in December in the U.S. on Cartoon Network, available on HBO Max the following day. A second American Girl special, still to be announced, will follow next year.
American Girl: Corinne Tan stars Miya Cech (Corinne), from the upcoming indie film, Marvelous and the Black Hole, and her sister Kai Cech (Gwynn), in a story about sisterhood, perseverance, and self-acceptance as they adjust to life as part of a blended family after their parents’ divorce. Corinne finds new purpose along the way when she rescues a dog that, in a way, rescues her right back.
Executive Producers for American Girl: Corinne Tan include Fred Soulie and Phil Breman for Mattel Television. Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer, and Fernando Szew serve as Executive Producers for MarVista Entertainment with Adam Shepard as Co-Executive Producer.