Another day, another streaming service. WarnerMedia is gearing up for the eventual launch of its own service, called HBO Max, to not only compete with streaming giants like Netflix, but to have an exclusive hub for its gigantic library of movies and TV shows. So many channels and backlogs fall under the WarnerMedia umbrella, so it's going to be a huge project.
However, there are a lot of unknowns. We don't know yet how much it'll cost or if it'll include everything that WarnerMedia owns. Here's what we do know.
- What's new with HBO Max?
- Wait there's going to be another streaming service?
- What content will be on it?
- How much will it cost?
- What about DC Universe?
- When will it debut?
What's new with HBO Max?
Oct. 29, 2019: HBO Max pricing, release date announced
During WarnerMedia's big investors' presentation, it announced two of the arguably most important details concerning the service: release date and price. New subscribers to HBO will be able to get it for $14.99 per month starting in May 2020.
The company also announced a number of new originals and acquisitions. You can check those out here.
Sept. 19, 2019: Service to produce UNpregnant film from Greg Berlanti
Haley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira are set to star in an adaptation of the novel UNPregnant, which will air on HBO Max.
According to the service, the film, which comes from Berlanti Productions and PICTURESTART, offers "a mix of humor and grounded human emotion as it tackles complicated friendships and the difficult road to adulthood, all while in a stolen El Camino."
Berlanti, the mega-producer who's behind a lot of the CW Arrowverse, signed a deal with Warner Media. This is the first movie in that deal.
Sept. 18, 2019: HBO Max to reboot The Boondocks
Not only will HBO Max be the streaming home of The Boondocks, but it has also ordered two "reimagined" seasons with 24 episodes.
The Boondocks, which ran for 55 episodes starting in 2005 and was based on a long-running comic strip, tells the story of Riley and Huey, two kids who move to the suburbs to live with their grandfather. The comedy was known for its biting socio-political commentary on issues important to people of color, but also on the nature of celebrity and pop culture.
The new episodes will focus on life after Uncle Ruckus and his neo-fascist regime have taken over the town.
Viewers can also expect a 50-minute special, which will kick off the reboot in Fall 2020. Aaron McGruder, the comics' creator, is returning as showrunner.
"There's a unique opportunity to revisit the world of The Boondocks and do it over again for today. It's crazy how different the times we live in are now — both politically and culturally — more than a decade past the original series and two decades past the original newspaper comic. There's a lot to say and it should be fun," he said.
Sept. 17, 2019: HBO Max obtains exclusive streaming rights for The Big Bang Theory
In an interesting turn of events, HBO Max announced that it has obtained exclusive streaming rights to the longrunning sitcom The Big Bang Theory from an auction.
According to Variety, the service will be the home for 12 seasons of the show. WarnerMedia also announced an extension of the rerun rights for the show on TBS.
The show aired for its entire run on CBS, so I assumed it would air on CBS All Access, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Sept. 13, 2019: Americanah ordered straight to series
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's bestselling novel Americanah was ordered straight to series on HBO Max with 10 episodes.
The series is executive produced by Lupita Nyong'o, who is also set to star, and Danai Gurira, who will write the pilot and serve as showrunner.
The book follows a Nigerian woman named Ifemelu, who moves to the West and discovers in America what it means to grapple with her blackness. She falls in love with her classmate Obinze, who ends up undocumented in London.
Aug. 1, 2019: Doctor Who to exclusively stream on HBO Max
Everybody's favorite Time-Lord will call HBO Max its exclusive home. The streaming platform announced that it has exclusive streamiing rights to Doctor Who. All 11 seasons are expected to hit the service in Spring 2020.
British fans don't need to worry: the show will still air on the BBC and will hit HBO Max after airing.
July 17, 2019: Gossip Girl sequel to spill secrets for HBO Max
But who is Gossip Girl? We found out in the original series, but a sequel series has been ordered for HBO Max. The service announced that it'll air 10 hour-long episodes that take place eight years after the original series' finale.
According to Deadline, the logline is: "Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years."
Original series creator Joshua Safran is expected to return.
Wait there's going to be another streaming service?
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of subscription services out there right now, you're out of luck since WarnerMedia (originally known as Time Warner before it was acquired by AT&T) is set to release its own streaming service called HBO Max. The plans were announced in October 2018, but details have been slowly rolling out over the past few months.
Kevin Reilly, the president of TBS and TNT and chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment, described earlier this year how the service will bring together a lot of the company's library of content, including the Looney Tunes, HBO, Cartoon Network, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, TNT, CNN, and Turner Classic Movies catalogs, along with a slate of movies. Originally there was a plan to have three tiers and plans, but some reports have stated that the idea has been scrapped.
Currently, WarnerMedia's content is spread out across multiple platforms so this service would give the company a way to keep it all in one place. The big hop right now is the show Friends, which has been at Netflix and will now move over to HBO Max in 2020 in the U.S.
The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye.— Netflix US (@netflix) July 9, 2019
We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner's streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in The US). Thanks for the memories, gang ☕
Streaming services are moving towards exclusivity and with different networks creating their own apps for just their content, it makes sense that WarnerMedia would want to do the same. The difference is the size of it all.
What content will be on it?
WarnerMedia has only just started to announce its slate of original programming. So far, there are a number of shows and original films set to hit the service.
- Dune: The Sisterhood - The Dune spinoff (tied to the upcoming film from director Denis Villeneuve) was given a straight-to-series order. It's set in the world of Dune and follows the Bene Gesserit, a mysterious order of women.
- Tokyo Vice - The 10-episode drama series is based on the non-fiction book by Jake Adelstein. It tells the story of an American journalist who embeds himself with the Tokyo police. It'll star Ansel Elgort and was given a straight-to-series order.
- Love Life - The romantic comedy anthology series will follow one protagonist's search for love each season. The first season is set to star Anna Kendrick. Both Kendrick and Paul Feig are executive producing.
- The Flight Attendant - The thriller series, based on the novel of the same name, will star Kaley Cuoco as a woman who wakes up in Dubai not knowing if she killed a man or not.
- Made for Love - This 10-episode series based on the novel by Alissa Nutting is about a woman trying to escape her tech billionaire husband.
- Station Eleven - This post-apocalyptic limited series is based on the novel by Emily St. John Mandel about a former Hollywood star and a group of artists as they wander the wasteland.
- Over My Dead Body - Elizabeth Banks is developing a series adaptation of the podcast of the same name for the service. The podcast tells the story of two attorneys whose wedding was featured in the New York Times, but things escalate from there into a murder case.
- Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai - This prequel animated series is in the works for the streaming service. It'll follow Mr. Wing, the Chinese grandfather from the films, as he goes on adventures with Gizmo.
- Gossip Girl sequel - The currently untitled Gossip Girl sequel takes place eight years after the original series finale and follows a new group of New York prep school teens who become the subject of the mysterious Gossip Girl.
- The Boondocks - A reboot of the 2000s cartoon is set to hit the service. The original showrunner is returning, along with 24 episodes and a 50-minute special.
- UNPregnant - The film adaptation of the young adult novel, about a teenager who finds out she's pregnant and goes on a road trip, comes from Berlanti Productions.
- Americanah - The 10-episode adaptation of the bestselling novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a straight-to-series order on HBO Max.
- DC Super Hero High - A half-hour comedy from Elizabeth Banks that follows students who will one day become "legendary DC Super Heroes."
- Rap Shit - The half-hour comedy (working title) from Issa Rae is about a female rap group from Florida trying to make it.
- College Girls - Mindy Kaling is the brains behind this 13-episode sitcom, which follows freshman college roommates in Vermont.
- Strange Adventures - This DC superhero anthology series will feature characters from across the canon.
- Untitled Green Lantern Series - Few details were revealed about this series, except that it's a "Green Lantern inspired series." No word if this ties into the movie that's been in the works for years at Warner Bros.
- Raised by Wolves - This sci-fi series follows two androids that are raising human children and the conflicts they run into with a human colony on a distant planet.
- The Fungies! - This comedy from Cartoon Network Studios explores the fictitious Fungietown. It's called a "prehistoric comedy."
- Tig N' Seek - Another Cartoon Network Studios series, this one follows an 8-year-old named Tiggy and his gadget-building cat.
- Tooned Out - This live-action/cartoon hybrid comedy is executive produced by Robert Zemeckis and is about Mac, who sees animated characters that help him through his problems.
- Looney Tunes Cartoons - HBO announced 80 (count 'em, 80!) 11-minute episodes starring those classic characters.
- Jellystone - This new children's comedy series takes place in Jellystone, where Hanna-Barbera characters live.
- Bobbie Sue - This film stars Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and is about a lawyer who realizes she's been hired only for the optics and not for her knowledge.
- Conan O'Brien-presented stand-up specials - Five new specials are set to hit HBO Max, including two hosted by O'Brien and one from comedian James Veitch.
As for non-original content, there's actually quite a bit in WarnerMedia's library. There's the Warner Bros. catalog, Turner Classic Movies, a ton of cable channels including TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TNT, CNN, and more, DC Universe, and HBO and Cinemax. WarnerMedia highlighed a few upcoming HBO properties that'll make their way to the service, including Stephen King's The Outsider, Lovecraft County, and Joss Whedon's The Nevers.
It'll also have exclusive streaming rights to a number of popular properties, including the aformentioned Friends, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Pretty Little Liars, and some of the Warner Bros.-produced CW dramas like Batwoman and Katy Keene. It was also announced that it'll exclusively stream Doctor Who and The Big Bang Theory.
How much will it cost?
This isn't your typical streaming service, so it won't cost as little as Hulu or other comparable services. HBO Max will cost $14.99 per month. However, current HBO subscribers and others are in luck. If you're an existing HBO, AT&T TV or a mobile & broadband bundle subscriber, though, you'll get HBO Max for free. The company also plans on launching a cheaper, advertisement-based version a year after launch, although there aren't any further details on that.
It's not the most expensive cord-cutting service out there, but it's certainly more expensive than some of the other major players, including Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now. It's safe to assume that the price matches the amount of content users will be able to access and the amount of other services it'll replace. FilmStruck, for example, was once the streaming home for classic cinema, but with Turner Classic Movies under the WarnerMedia name, it can be moved over to the new service.
What about DC Universe?
It's unclear how the DC-based subscription service will factor into WarnerMedia's plans. The company is said to be reevaluating the initiative.
There are a couple possible outcomes. Either DC Universe will continue separately, be incorporated into the new WarnerMedia service, or be canceled altogether. According to the trailer above, it looks like it'll at least be the middle option, since Doom Patrol, a DC Universe original, is highlighted.
When will it debut?
Currently there isn't an exact release date, but the company announced that it'll launch in May 2020.
Updated Oct. 29, 2019: Added pricing, release date info, along with everything else from the investor's presentation.
There's a new official trailer for Apple TV+'s 'Visible: Out on Television'
Apple has shared an official trailer for "Visible: Out on Television" on YouTube.
Apple signs multi-year Apple TV+ deal with Seinfeld's Julia Louis-Dreyfous
Apple has signed a multi-year deal with Julia Louise-Dreyfus, formerly of Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld.
The first three episodes of 'Truth Be Told' are now live on Apple TV+
A month after Apple TV+ went live, "Truth Be Told" is now available to stream. The first three episodes are online now, with a new episode arriving every week.
Streaming videos that help keep MLK's dream alive
Today — Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 — is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday that commemorates the birthday of the famous Civil Rights Leader. While many of us enjoy having the day off, this can also be one of those holidays where the focus can be on learning about the person being honored, and their life's work. This is especially important for kids. There are a lot of ways that people...