What the hell is happening on HBO Max? What does it have to do with Discovery+?
HBO Max, the home of prestigious HBO television shows, Warner Bros. movies and DC Comics, along with original series like the “Sex and the City” revival “And Just Like That,” is undergoing some changes. important this week as its new owner charts a new strategy for the streamer and its affiliated entertainment brands, including Warner Bros. movie studios, TBS, TNT and CNN.
But in the summer of 2023, beginning in the US, Warner Bros. Discovery will begin the process of combining HBO Max with its corporate cousin Discovery+, the home of reality shows from Food Network, HGTV, Magnolia Network, TLC and Discovery. Channel. . This will create a huge streaming service under the corporate umbrella of Warner Bros. Discovery. But what does that really mean for subscribers of each service?
We explain why the popular streaming services, which have a combined 92 million households subscribed (the majority to HBO Max), are getting a makeover.
Why is HBO Max changing? Why is it combined with Discovery+?
HBO Max is the streaming service started by the company formerly known as WarnerMedia, which included the premium cable channel HBO, but also programming from cable networks like TBS, TNT, and CNN and the Warner Bros. movie studio WarnerMedia was formerly owned. from AT&T, but the conglomerate announced in 2021 that it would spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery, a company that includes networks like the Discovery Channel, HGTV, the Food Network and the Discovery+ streaming service. The merger became official in April and the new company is now called Warner Bros. Discovery.
The deal put HBO Max under new management, with its own ideas about what HBO Max should be. CEO David Zaslav confirmed what leadership said earlier on an earnings call with investors Thursday: Warner Bros. Discovery plans to eventually combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one. “Our top priority is to launch an integrated (streaming) service,” he said. The service will roll out in the US in the summer of 2023 (and then in other markets), with the company releasing more specific details in the coming months.
Meanwhile, snippets of Discovery+ are heading to HBO Max and vice versa.
Plus:The 50 Best TV Shows on HBO Max
Which Discovery shows are coming to HBO Max? magnolias and more
HBO Max is getting a big addition from its new corporate cousin: Joanna Gaines’ Chip and Magnolia Network.
HBO Max announced Thursday that “select content” from Magnolia, currently available to stream on Discovery+, is coming to HBO Max on September 30, including “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines” and all five seasons of the original “Fixer Upper”. The Gaines’ latest series, “Fixer Upper: The Castle,” will premiere simultaneously on Magnolia Network, HBO Max and Discovery+ on October 14.
What about Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max?
News broke Wednesday that Warner Bros. had canceled a planned and near-finished “Batgirl” movie that was scheduled to premiere on the service, as well as previously DC Comics’ “Wonder Twins” and “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt.” due to this holiday season.
In addition to the canceled movies, fans and reporters noted Thursday that six HBO Max original movies had been pulled from the platform, including “Moonshot” starring Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor and Seth Rogen’s “An American Pickle.” (Titles are still available to purchase on video-on-demand sites.)
On the earnings call, Zaslav was adamant that he doesn’t believe in releasing movies directly to broadcast. “We have a different view on direct-to-broadcast movie releases and have taken steps to course-correct from the previous strategy,” he said, referring to former CEO Jason Kilar’s plan to offer original movies on HBO Max.
Plus:‘Batgirl’ Star Leslie Grace Posts Tribute to Fans After Warner Bros. Scrapped $90 Million Movie
What other changes could come? For starters, CNN goes to Discovery+
Discovery+ announced Thursday that CNN shows such as “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell” will be available on Discovery+ on August 19 in a new “CNN Originals”. center. (Bourdain’s first travel and food show, “No Reservations,” was already on Discovery+ because it originally aired on The Travel Channel.) Earlier this year, the CNN+ streaming service was scrapped by leadership. from Warner Bros. Discovery after only a month.
As for other changes, children’s and family programming is no longer a priority for the new company. Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Weidenfels mentioned on the earnings call that they are unlikely to pursue new projects, even though the company has a library of content ranging from “Looney Tunes” to “Animaniacs.”
Zaslav also addressed concerns that HBO will reduce the number of shows it produces. “We’re going to spend a lot more on the HBO Max product,” he said. “We are going to spend more money on content. We are a content company.” (He didn’t elaborate on whether that means fewer but more expensive shows.)
Plus:The 10 Best TV Shows on Discovery+: From ’90 Day Fiancé’ to ‘Mythbusters’ to Anthony Bourdain