- HBO Max confirmed as WarnerMedia SVOD service
- Content library to include: Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air & Pretty Little Liars
- D2C serviced will be “Maximised” with original programming
HBO has unveiled its new direct-to-consumer streaming service, which will be launched in 2020 and is set to offer legacy favourites and original content.
The new streaming service – which will be called HBO Max - will offer “an impressive direct-to-consumer experience for everyone ranging from families with young children to adults of all ages,” the company announced yesterday.
In a statement, the US-based media and entertainment conglomerate, which is owned by AT&T, said HBO Max would be anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO’s excellence and award-winning storytelling.
The new service will be “Maximized” with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) and the “best-of-the-best” from WarnerMedia’s enormous portfolio of brands and libraries.
HBO Max is scheduled to launch commercially in the spring of 2020 and is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content.
WarnerMedia Entertainment and D2C chairman Robert Greenblatt said: “HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform.
“HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries.”
- Read more: Old rivals become new frenemies
HBO will unite media and entertainment executives to run the service. Casey Bloyds of HBO, Kevin Reilly heading the original content and acquisitions along with two experienced digital experts: Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssel.
Greenblatt added: “I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”
New deals with Warner Bros. Television and others for HBO Max include:
- The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of “Friends” — one of the biggest hits on television and in streaming
- The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all episodes of fan favorites “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Pretty Little Liars”
- The exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.’ produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including the highly-anticipated new DC Entertainment series “Batwoman,” and “Katy Keene” (spinoff of “Riverdale”)
- New exclusive movie production deals with Greg Berlanti, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful producers, and Reese Witherspoon, Academy Award® and Emmy Award®-winning actress and producer; Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films
Highlights of HBO programming previously announced for 2020 and 2021 include:
- Stephen King’s “The Outsider,” a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman
- “Lovecraft Country,” a unique 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,” the opulent world of 1885 New York from “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes
- “Avenue 5,” high satire 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 complex 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.