Warner Bros. Discovery’s crusade against its own content continued this week as 37 more titles were unceremoniously pulled from HBO Max. Children’s programming and animated series were hit especially hard following news the company was tamping down efforts in those areas. Reality TV on HBO Max has been similarly decimated, a decision underscored by layoffs in the company’s unscripted division earlier this week.
“As we work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and Discovery+,” Warner Bros. Discovery execs explained per Deadline. “That will include the removal of some content from both platforms.”
“At the same time, we’re already starting to bring our content catalogs together like the launch of the new CNN Originals Hub on Discovery+ and a curated collection of Magnolia Network content coming soon to HBO Max,” the statement continued.
The promise of new content collections is little consolation for those mourning the loss of what many considered one of the better streaming services, previously boasting beloved hidden gems like “Final Space,” “Infinity Train,” “Generation,” “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo,” “Full Bloom,” and “The Fungies!” among others.
In paring down HBO Max, Warner Bros. Discovery execs have removed huge chunks of not only HBO and HBO Max original content (see everything from “Mrs. Fletcher” and “Vinyl” to “Aquaman: King of Atlantis” and “The Witches”), but also content from Cartoon Network, TBS, and TruTV as well as other movies and shows previously streaming-exclusive to the platform.
Why these series and movies are being removed (and, perhaps more importantly, where they’re going next) isn’t clear in every case, though audiences fear some titles could go the way of the infamously canned “Batgirl” and never been seen again.
As IndieWire’s Tony Maglio explains: “The content being targeted for removal tends to be shows and movies that are not performing on the service, but have an opportunity for a partial [tax] write off. Content costs can be amortized — or assigned a cost that gets recognized by an entity across multiple years — over the program or film’s expected lifetime. If years on that timeline remain, a company can remove that asset from distribution and use its remaining cost balance to offset taxable income elsewhere.”
So, while acclaimed favorites with big audiences probably already have or will soon find new streaming homes, less successful projects may not be so lucky. (“12 Dates of Christmas”: Our hearts break for you.)
To be updated continuously, here are the whopping 68 titles, including movies, TV shows, and specials, that have been unceremoniously removed from HBO Max during the summer of 2022. The yet-to-be-named HBO Max/Discovery+ combined service isn’t expected to debut until roughly this time next year.
Note: Entries appear alphabetically with children’s programming at the end. This list is not and — considering the hush-hush nature of it all — could not be comprehensive. Some titles may still appear on the service for a limited, unknown period. Representatives for Warner Bros. Discovery did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment and confirmation.