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HBO Max Pilot Orders: Practical Magic Prequel, Psychological Horror and More

HBO Max Pilots Witches teens

The HBO Max streaming service has announced with a trio of pilot orders that it is going into business with Melissa Rosenberg (Jessica Jones), John Wells (ER, The West Wing) and Lena Dunham (Girls).

Rosenberg is among the executive producers and writers for Rules of Magic, an “epic, generational family drama set in 1960s New York City” and in which three siblings — Franny, Jet and Vincent Owens — wrestle with “abnormalities” that have kept them isolated. Descended from a bloodline of witches, the three will deal with grief, war, bigotry and dark magic, not to mention a centuries-old curse designed to keep them away from love. The two sisters, Franny and Jet, become the revered and sometimes feared aunts in the Alice Hoffman novel Practical Magic, while their beloved brother, Vincent, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Wells, meanwhile, will serve as an EP on Red Bird Lane, a psychological horror series about eight strangers who arrive at an isolated house — all for different reasons — and quickly realize that something sinister and terrifying awaits them. Sara Gran (Southland) penned that pilot.

Lastly, Dunham is among the EPs on Generation, a “dark yet playful half-hour” that follows a group 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.” Zelda Barnz, the 17-year-old daughter of Dunham’s production partners, Daniel and Ben Barnz, created the series and co-wrote the pilot, and will carry a co-EP title.

HBO Max is scheduled to launch in the year 2020; the several series already in the pipeline can be found in our handy slideshow.