In the first co-acquisition partnership between The CW and HBO Max, the broadcaster and streamer have acquired Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s “Wellington Paranormal,” a spinoff from their 2014 movie “What We Do in the Shadows.” The horror comedy will premiere on The CW sometime this summer, and episodes will then be available the next day to stream on HBO Max (as well as on the ad-supported CW app and CWTV.com).
The show follows the police characters from “What We Do in the Shadows,” Officers O’Leary (played by Karen O’Leary) and Minogue (played by Mike Minogue). As part of the Wellington paranormal unit, they investigate local supernatural activity — of which there is a surprising amount — as supervised by Sergeant Maaka (Maaka Pohatu).
Clement, of “Flight of the Conchords,” and Waititi, who last year won an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for his “Jojo Rabbit,” created the show, and serve as executive producers with Paul Yates. It’s produced by The New Zealand Documentary Board.
“Wellington Paranormal” has aired for three seasons in New Zealand, and The CW and HBO Max has acquired all three — Clement has directed a number of the show’s episodes. Earlier this month, Fremantle announced it had taken the international distribution rights to the series, and that Sky had picked it up for the United Kingdom. (Fremantle was not part of this U.S. deal.)
The show represents another expansion of the “What We Do in the Shadows” universe, along with the FX on Hulu series of the same name created by Clement. On “What We Do in the Shadows,” four somewhat hapless vampires live together in modern-day Staten Island. The FX on Hulu comedy received multiple Emmy nominations last year, including for outstanding comedy series.
A representative from FX on Hulu told Variety that “What We Do in the Shadows” is currently filming its third season.