WarnerMedia unveiled its HBO Max service line-up, service and goals today in a two-hour often dry and sometimes too rushed presentation that encompassed a range of announcements.
Costing $14.99 per month and launching May 2020 (with an ad-supported iteration in 2021), the new shows made for the service will be dubbed MAX Originals and they’ve made it very clear that these will be weekly releases – none of them will release a full season all at once. The only shows that will do that are the ones that have already aired elsewhere (eg. “Batwoman”)
The service will launch with 10,000 hours of curated premium content. In place of algorithm curation, talent and influencers will be a part of the ‘Recommended by Humans’ feature sharing the content they love. Also on offer are co-viewing profiles, meaning not only can you setup individual profiles but ones in which you watch content together and in doing so it won’t affect the recommendations for the individual profiles. Subscribers can also download content for offline viewing.
At present the plan is to include 31 MAX Original series in 2020 along with 36 HBO Originals, lifting that to 50 MAX Original series and 38 HBO Originals by 2021. The most high profile MAX Original is probably “Raised by Wolves,” a ten-episode serialized sci-fi series from Ridley Scott and centers on two androids raising human children on a mysterious planet where a growing colony of humans could be torn apart by religious differences.
There’s also “DC Superhero High,” a new half-hour live-action comedy series from producer Elizabeth Banks following a group of teenagers attending a boarding school for gifted children. On top of that is the Robert Zemeckis animation/live-action series called “Tooned Out,” the prehistoric animated comedy “The Fungies,” the kids show “Tig N’ Seek,” the previously announced four new “Adventure Time” specials, and already announced adult-skewing shows like “Station Eleven,” “Made for Love,” “Circe” and “Americanah” starring Lupita N’Yongo.
There’s also a “Green Lantern” show and DC anthology series “Strange Adventures” both from producer Greg Berlanti, along with previously announced titles like the Michael Mann-directed “Tokyo Vice,” the Kaley Cuoco-led “Flight Attendant,” Anna Kendrick in “Love Life,” the “Gossip Girl” revival, another season of “Doom Patrol”, the TV musical spin-off “Grease: Rydell High,” Issa Rae’s female rap group comedy “Rap Sh-t,” and Mindy Kaling’s single-camera dorm comedy “College Girls”.
Also coming are eighty new Looney Tunes shorts, the new Hanna Barbera series “Jellystone,” the revival of “The Boondocks” (and past episodes) and at launch there will be a bunch of the Cartoon Network line-up. There’s also four new unscripted shows: “Generation Hustle,” “Legendary,” and “First Dates Hotel” along with over one-hundred existing unscripted series including “Impractical Jokers” and new content from “The Bachelor”. Team Coco will produce five new comedy specials presented by Conan O’Brien.
Not included in the presentation but known to be on the way are the likes of the Ava DuVernay produced “DMZ” adaptation, the upcoming film TV series tie-in “Dune: The Sisterhood,” the “Gremlins” prequel series, the recently announced “The Shelly Society,” and the continuation of “Search Party”.
In terms of past scripted content, the library includes all of HBO’s content combined with all seasons of “The Big Bang Theory,” “Doctor Who” (revival era), “Friends,” “Rick and Morty,” “South Park” and “The West Wing” which were acquired in major deals. Also coming are full series like “The Alienist,” “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “The Closer,” “Major Crimes,” “The OC,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Rizzoli and Isles,” “Robot Chicken,” “Samurai Jack,” “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” “This is Life with Lisa Ling” and “United Shades of America with Kamau Bell”.
Movies will include titles from Warners, MGM and Criterion with some special showcasing and curation by the experts at Turner Classic Movies. The plan is for ten MAX Originals films per year starting with “Unpregnant,” “Hello Sunshine,” “Let Them All Talk,” “Superintelligence,” and the Gina Rodriguez-led “Bobbie Sue”.
40 years of DC Films will be coming to the service including “Joker” and all the Batman and Superman films available at launch.