Initial news about upcoming streaming service HBO Max indicates that it will likely be a very competitive rival to Netflix and Disney Plus when it debuts next year. A slew of exclusive original content is in production and AT&T’s many TV and movie partners will be contributing to the service’s on-demand catalog as well. There will be over 10,000 hours of content to binge through at launch, according to CNBC. Keep reading for a complete overview of HBO Max’s content library.
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Binge through HBO’s entire catalog
All of HBO’s in-house movies and TV shows will be available via HBO Max. The premium cable service is particularly well known for its critically acclaimed comedies and dramatic series. Many consider The Wire and The Sopranos to be two of the best dramatic shows produced during the so-called Golden Age of Television that kicked off around the year 2000. Shows like The Veep, The Larry Sanders Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm add a comedic dimension to HBO’s appeal.
HBO Max originals
If HBO Max originals prove to be compelling enough, they might tempt people who subscribe to HBO through cable and other streaming services to give HBO Max a try. AT&T has announced its plan to invest around two billion dollars in HBO Max next year. A significant portion of that cash will likely go towards producing exclusive original shows and movies.
When Hollywood Reporter interviewed HBO Max boss Bob Greenblatt, he revealed that the streaming service’s primary focus will be much more broad compared to the niche that HBO occupies now.
“[HBO’s target demographic will be] kids all the way up to the young adults. And different genres, like YA or unscripted, which HBO largely doesn’t do. We’re trying really hard to assign the same quality level and curated feeling that HBO has.”
Cartoons, animated shows and kids’ content
The first batch of original content features a significant number of animated shows. Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will likely trigger nostalgia in older subscribers as well as introduce a new generation to the Gremlins franchise. Adventure Time: Distant Lands brings back Cartoon Network’s cult hit. New original Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera cartoons will be a part of the content library as well. In addition, new Sesame Street episodes will appear on HBO Max first before making their way to PBS. In addition to all these reboots, HBO is introducing some new cartoon stories as well. The Fungies, for example, is an upcoming cartoon about a mischievous mushroom named Seth. Likewise, Tig ‘n Seek is an animated show about a boy and his gadget-making genius cat.
Fantasy and sci-fi
Perhaps seeking to capitalize on the critical success of the HBO sci-fi series Westworld, several HBO Max original shows will introduce us to several new sci-fi and fantasy worlds. Ripley Scott’s Raised by Wolves is a story about two androids on a distant planet, one will of which will likely be played by Travis Fimmel of Vikings fame. Dune: The Sisterhood will write another chapter in the Dune franchise. Circe — a Greek myth-inspired story based on Madeline Miller’s book of the same name– follows the adventures of a legendary sorceress. Tragicomedy Made for Love brings to mind Black Mirror‘s negative view of technological advancement.
Comedy and casual TV
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres is involved in several HBO originals. These include the reality shows Ellen’s Home Design Challenge and First Dates Hotel, as well as the animated kids’ series Little Ellen. An upcoming docuseries called Finding Einstein will also feature Ellen. Other notable female comedians– like Mindy Kaling of The Office fame and Insecure creator Issa Rae– are also creating content for the streaming service. HBO Max will also cater to fans of casual TV with various travel and competition-based reality shows. Aspiring interior designers go face to face in The Greatest Space, while Brad and Gary Go To… is a culinary travel show featuring writer Gary Janetti and stylist Brad Goreski.
HBO Max’s impressive list of content providers
On the first day of 2020, Netflix subscribers woke up to find out that Friends– NBC’s iconic comedy that follows six friends from New York City– had been removed from the Netflix catalog. Time Warner owns the streaming rights to the series now, and it will be streamable through HBO Max after it debuts next year. The series was apparently one of the most popular titles on Netflix, and all 236 episodes of the show will be hosted by HBO Max. The upcoming service also bought the right to stream NBC’s The West Wing and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
All 23 seasons of Comedy Central‘s South Park will be a part of HBO Max’s on-demand catalog. No other streaming service will carry that title, and each episode of the next three seasons will appear on HBO Max 24 hours after the initial Comedy Central broadcast.
HBO Max has managed to work out an agreement with the UK’s BBC to add Doctor Who, Luther, Top Gear, and the Ricky Gervais version of The Office to to the platform. Future seasons of these and other shows will move to HBO Max after first appearing on BBC America.
Warner Brothers’ huge catalog of movies will become part of HBO Max. That means that movie buffs will be able to enjoy classic films like 1942’s Casablanca as well as the Lord of the Rings movies, the Matrix trilogy, and all the films that belong to DC comics’ cinematic universe. Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island and other MonsterVerse will be added to the service as well. However, none of the Harry Potter movies will make it to HBO Max. NBC snatched up the streaming rights to that franchise back in 2016.
Castle Rock Entertainment
Warner Brothers subsidiary Castle Rock Entertainment is the home of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Misery and other Steven King-inspired movies. Other notable Castle Rock Entertainment films include The Polar Express and A Few Good Men. Whether or not these titles will become available remains to be seen.
After HBO Max launches, all The CW shows will eventually begin appearing on HBO Max a month before they are broadcast on The CW.
TruTV is yet another Warner Brothers subsidiary that may eventually begin contributing content to HBO Max. The cable channel specializes in prank-themed shows like The Carbonaro Effect and Impractical Jokesters. Recently the channel has experimented with scripted comedies like Andrea Savage’s I’m Sorry and Those Who Can’t.
Warner Brothers also owns TBS, which may be one reason why HBO Max was able to bring Seinfeld and Big Bang Theory aboard. Comedian Conan O’Brien has been with TBS since 2010. His production company Team Coco will contribute five different comedy specials to HBO Max, two of which will be hosted by O’Brien.
TNT will also be providing content for HBO Max. However, it’s not clear which TNT titles will appear in HBO Max’s on-demand catalog. Its most popular shows include Animal Kingdom, Claws and The Alienist.
CNN has teamed up with HBO Max as well, but so far they haven’t brought in any pre-existing CNN content. However, CNN is producing several exclusive documentaries for the streaming service. These include Heaven’s Gate, Generation Hustle, The Scoop and Persona.
Animation startup Rooster Teeth was founded 16 years ago. It was acquired by Fullscreen in 2014, which is a subsidiary of Otter Media, which in turn is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers. The company is perhaps most well-known for Red vs. Blue, a video game parody series. Rooster Teeth’s mecha animated series Gen:Lock will appear on HBO Max next year.
Unlike all the production companies mentioned above, leading anime streaming service Crunchyroll isn’t a part of WarnerMedia. Nevertheless, Crunchyroll will add significant value to HBO Max by “keeping it fresh with new anime released every quarter curated by anime experts.” The specific anime titles that will become available on the upcoming service have yet to be announced.
It looks as though HBO Max is shaping up to be one of the best options for fans of cartoons and animated shows. The streaming service is bringing back Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time for four specials, and other Cartoon Network franchises may make their way to HBO Max as well. Steven Universe, The Powderpuff Girls and Teen Titans are some of Cartoon Network’s most notable shows. Several HBO original titles (The Fungies and Tig ‘N Seek) will be produced by Cartoon Network, as well.
The first three seasons of Adult Swim hit Rick and Morty will be available via HBO Max. There’s currently no word on whether or not Family Guy will make it to the upcoming streaming service.
The addition of Boomerang to HBO Max’s list of partners means that yet another animation production company will be providing content for the streaming service. It’s not yet known which Boomerang titles will come to HBO Max, though. Some of Boomerang’s most popular shows include The Garfield Show, Be Cool Scooby Doo, The Tom and Jerry Show and Bunnicula.
Hanna-Barbera is producing Jellystone, an HBO Max original that will bring Yogi Bear, Boo Boo and several other classic Hanna-Barbera characters back to life. Since Hanna-Barbera owns The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound and The Flinstones, these cartoons may eventually move to HBO Max as well.
Turner Classic Movies / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Fortunately, HBO Max will be about more than just cartoons. The upcoming streaming service recently announced that it will have a large collection of classic movies from the Turner Classic Movies archive, as well. Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Shining, A Star is Born, Singin’ in the Rain and 2001: A Space Odyssey will all be a part of HBO Max’s on-demand catalog. In addition to Turner Classic Movies, movies from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer that debuted before May of 1986 will also find their way to HBO Max.