According to a new report, HBO Max will cease operations on its scripted TV division and lay off a significant number of development staff.
With the Discovery+ integration looming, HBO Max is reportedly planning to no longer make scripted TV shows moving forward. In addition to hosting dozens of Warner Bros. movies, the HBO Max streaming service also features troves of original movies and shows, dubbed “Max Originals.” These Max Originals are distinct from the mainline HBO brand and channel, which is known for hits like Game of Thrones, Barryand Euphoriaand includes titles like Tokyo Vice, Peacemaker, and Our Flag Means Death.
Since the Warner Bros. Discovery merger last year, plans were put in motion to merge the streaming services of HBO Max and Discovery+. For months, it was unclear what this integration would look like but, under the new leadership of CEO David Zaslav, the upcoming merger is starting to incur some casualties in the form of HBO Max Original content. The biggest casualty thus far is batgirl, which was slated to star Leslie Grace and feature Brendan Fraser as the villain, but the project was recently shelved after reportedly poor test screenings. Earlier today, it was also revealed that a number of HBO Max Originals were quietly removed from the platform as part of a larger tax write-off, leading many to question what the future holds for a number of other properties on the streamer.
Now, however, a new report from The Wrap suggests that HBO Max will be eliminating its scripted TV show division entirely and that it will be absorbed into HBO. The report claims that 70% of the HBO Max development team will be laid off, with HBO supposedly aimed to offer fewer scripted shows overall. Check out a comment below from a source featured in The Wrap‘s report:
“All I know is they’re folding HBO Max into HBO. Sounds like they’re not doing HBO Max scripted shows anymore with HBO taking over, so less scripted shows overall.”
While HBO Max may be ceasing operations on scripted shows, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that all existing Max Original scripted series will all be getting the ax. peacemaker creator James Gunn, for example, recently confirmed that his show is safe amidst the general shakeups at HBO Max. What it does mean, however, is that if any shows do end up surviving the merger, they will likely no longer be Max Originals but instead absorbed into the mainline HBO brand to become akin to the likes of House of the Dragon or Euphoria.
It remains to be seen what additional titles will be canceled or removed from the streamer with the integration of Discovery+ into HBO Max, but consumers are evidently experiencing how expendable content on streaming platforms can be. The decisions seem to ultimately be tied to crafting a platform that isn’t confusing to new subscribers in terms of branding and content offerings, but many existing HBO Max users (and fans of shows like Our Flag Means Death, And Just Like That…, Hacksand Minx) are now left wondering whether their favorite shows and movies will still exist in a few weeks’ time.
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Source: The Wrap
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