WarnerMedia is diving full-bore into the streaming wars with HBO Max — a subscription service slated to bow next spring, stocked with HBO programming, original series, Warner Bros. movies and library content including the full 10-season run of “Friends.”
There’s no pricing info yet for HBO Max, nor is it fully clear how much content from HBO will be included in the subscription VOD package. The standalone HBO Now service currently costs $15 per month, so presumably HBO Max will cost more if it includes big chunks of what’s on HBO plus a slew of other content.
WarnerMedia says it expects HBO Max to have 10,000 hours of premium video content at launch. On Tuesday, it outlined some of the key shows that will be available.
Exclusive Licensed Content
- “Friends”: All 236 episodes of the show, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired for 10 seasons on NBC from 1994-2004. It previously has been on Netflix, where it’s one of the most-streamed series on the service. The show made stars out of the ensemble cast — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television.
- “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”: Sitcom created by Andy Borowitz and Susan Borowitz, which aired for six seasons on NBC from 1990-96. The show revolved around Will Smith as a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia who is sent to move in with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel-Air mansion after getting into a fight in his hometown. It was produced by The Stuffed Dog Company, Quincy Jones Productions-Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment and NBC Productions.
- “Pretty Little Liars”: Drama developed by I. Marlene King, based on a series of books by Sara Shepard, which aired for seven seasons on ABC Family/Freeform from 2010-17. The series follows the lives of five high school girls whose clique falls apart after the leader of the group, Alison, goes missing. The series’ ensemble cast included Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish. “PLL” was produced by Alloy Entertainment, Long Lake Productions and Russian Hill Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.
- CW Shows: HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home for CW dramas produced by Warner Bros. starting with the fall 2019 season, including the DC Entertainment series “Batwoman,” and “Katy Keene” (a spinoff of “Riverdale”). Note, however, that CW shows going forward will be available on HBO Max beginning 30 days prior to the TV premiere of the next seasons of those shows.
Original Series and Movies
- Greg Berlanti will produce an initial four movies in the young-adult genre for HBO Max.
- Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films for the service.
- “Dune: The Sisterhood,” an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve.
- “Tokyo Vice,” based on Jake Adelstein’s nonfiction account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort.
- “The Flight Attendant,” a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti.
- “Love Life,” a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology starring “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig, produced by Lionsgate.
- “Station Eleven,” a post-apocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai.
- “Made for Love,” a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson.
- “Gremlins,” an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie.
- “Crime Farm,” a drama series executive produced by Nicole Kidman, a psychosexual love story that follows a couple who are forensic homicide experts — whose marriage thrives on their investigations into the depravity of the world’s most notorious criminals. Kidman will executive produce alongside Per Saari under their Blossom Films banner; Warner Horizon Scripted Television is the studio.
WarnerMedia also provided highlights of HBO originals that have previously been announced for 2020 and 2021:
- Stephen King’s “The Outsider,” a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman.
- “Lovecraft Country,” a horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams.
- “The Nevers,” Joss Whedon’s new science-fiction series starring Laura Donnelly.
- “The Gilded Age,” set in the opulent world of 1885 New York from “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes.
- “Avenue 5,” satire set aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci (“Veep”), starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad.
- “The Undoing,” a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.
- “The Plot Against America,” reimagined history based on Phillip Roth’s novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro.
- “Perry Mason,” the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role.
- “I Know This Much Is True,” a family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia, based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.