MOVIE NEWS – According to a recent report, HBO Max is shutting down its scripted TV series division and laying off a significant portion of its development staff.
On the verge of integrating Discovery+, HBO Max is reportedly planning to stop making outsourced development TV shows in the future. In addition to hosting dozens of Warner Bros. films, HBO Max’s streaming service will offer a plethora of original movies and series under the “Max Originals” banner. This Max Originals content is distinct from the mainline HBO brand and channel, which is known for hits like Game of Thrones, Barry and Euphoria, and includes titles like Tokyo Vice, Peacemaker, and Our Flag Means Death.
Since the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger last year, plans have been underway to merge the HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming services.
For months, it was unclear what that integration would look like, but with new CEO David Zaslav at the helm, the impending merger already has casualties in the form of original content from HBO Max. The biggest casualty so far has been Batgirl, which was scheduled to star Leslie Grace and star Brendan Fraser as the main villain, but the project was recently shelved after reportedly doing poorly in test screenings. It was recently revealed that several shows were quietly removed from the platform as part of a significant tax write-off, leading many to question the future of many other streamer productions.
However, according to a new report from The Wrap, HBO Max is eliminating its scripted TV division entirely and will be merged into HBO.
According to the report, 70% of HBO Max’s development team will be laid off, and HBO will reportedly offer fewer scripted series.
It is important to note that this change does not necessarily mean that all existing Max Originals scripted series will go in the trash. Peacemaker creator James Gunn, for example, recently confirmed that his series is safe amid HBO’s overall Max restructuring. However, this means that if any of the series survive the merger, they will likely no longer be Max Originals but will be merged into HBO’s mainline brand, alongside the likes of House of Dragons and Euphoria.
It’s not yet known what other titles will be deleted or removed from the streamer with the integration of Discovery+ into HBO Max, but consumers are clearly experiencing the sacrifice of content on streaming platforms. It seems that the decisions will ultimately come down to developing a platform that doesn’t confuse new subscribers in terms of brand and content offerings, but many existing HBO Max users (and fans of series such as the excellent Our Flag Means Death) may now be wondering whether their favourite series and films will still exist in a few weeks.
Source: The Wrap