HBO Max: WarnerMedia Names New Streaming Service

hbo-max

HBO Max will debut in 2020 with 16 New Shows

WarnerMedia today unveiled the name of its new streaming service, HBO Max.

It’s poised to compete an already crowded field of streaming platforms such as established brands like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. But its release in 2020 will come on the heels of other new entrants. 

Disney+ and Apple TV+ are both expected to debut this fall. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, HBO Max may cost subscribers $16 to $17 per month. HBO currently costs $15 per month as a standalone service. 

WarnerMedia is counting on pulling together a vast library for HBO Max from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes.

This is how WarnerMedia described it in a news release today:

“Anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO’s excellence and award-winning storytelling, the new service will be “Maximized” with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) and the best-of-the-best from WarnerMedia’s enormous portfolio of beloved brands and libraries.” 

What are Max Originals?

The new HBO Max will have a number of exclusive original series that will only be available on the new HBO Max. 

Max Original series previously announced include:

  • Dune: The Sisterhood,” an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve
  • “Tokyo Vice,” based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort
  • “The Flight Attendant,” a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti
  • “Love Life,” a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig
  • “Station Eleven,” a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai
  • “Made for Love,” a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson
  • “Gremlins,” an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie  

What’s coming to “regular” HBO in 2020? 

Since HBO Max will be a mix of what’s already on HBO and new “Max” programming, WarnerMedia highlighted some upcoming HBO programming that was previously announced. 

Highlights of HBO programming previously announced for 2020 and 2021 include:

  • Stephen King’s “The Outsider,” a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman
  • Lovecraft Country,” a unique horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams
  • “The Nevers,” Joss Whedon’s new science fiction series starring Laura Donnelly
  • “The Gilded Age,” the opulent world of 1885 New York from “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes
  • “Avenue 5,” high satire aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci (“Veep”), starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad
  • “The Undoing,” a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant
  • “The Plot Against America,” reimagined history based on Phillip Roth’s novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro
  • “Perry Mason,” the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role
  • “I Know This Much Is True,” a complex family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia, based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.

What’s still unknown about HBO Max

Nobody really knows what it costs yet. Edmund Lee at The New York Times wrote today that it’s unlikely to cost much more than $15 per month

The price point will be a balancing act for WarnerMedia. Even at $15 per month (or a dollar or two more), HBO Max will debut as one of the highest price streaming services that serves up on-demand movies and shows. Parent company AT&T can’t lower the price without upsetting cable and satellite TV providers that carry HBO. 

Hulu’s least expesnive (commercial-inflused) plan costs $5.99 per month. Netflix’s cheapest plan is $13. And Disney+ plans to be $6.99 per month, but discounted if you pay annually.

It’s also unclear whether current HBO subscribers will be able to get HBO Max gratis. Streaming services typically offer a free trial that lasts about a week. There’s been no word on that either way. 

 

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