Please wait...
Please wait...

HBO Max to offer ad-supported option

Kaley Cuoco stars in and exec produces thriller The Flight Attendant

WarnerMedia-owned US streamer HBO Max is readying a cheaper, ad-supported version of its service and has unveiled a slate of new kids’ projects.

HBO Max will launch its ad-supported subscription tier in the first week of June, providing consumers with a choice between the existing ad-free version of HBO Max at US$14.99 per month and an ad-supported experience for US$9.99 per month.

The news was unveiled at WarnerMedia’s upfront, which it also used to trail previously announced originals such as And Just Like That…, Friends: The Reunion and new seasons of Legendary, The Flight Attendant and Search Party.

The upfront was set against the backdrop of the shock news this week that AT&T would be offloading WarnerMedia, which is merging with factual giant Discovery and its Discovery+ streaming serviced to form a new standalone entity led by Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav.

Commissions announced during the upfront mainly came in the kids’ and family space, including an unscripted quiz competition series and retrospective special to mark 20 years since the release of the first film in the Harry Potter franchise.

Produced by Warner Bros Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, limited series Wizarding World will include four one-hour quiz challenges followed by the film retrospective, all set to premiere on HBO Max, Cartoon Network, and TBS in the US later this year.

HBO Max and Cartoon Network are also pairing on animated reboots of the Batman and Superman franchises for kids, with JJ Abrams and Jack Quaid among those attached to the projects.

Batman: Caped Crusader is being produced by Warner Bros Animation, Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and 6th & Idaho. Receiving a straight-to-series order, the show is being exec produced by Abrams, Bruce Timm and Matt Reeves.

Meanwhile, My Adventures with Superman features a voice cast led by Quaid and Alice Lee as Clark Kent and Lois Lane, respectively. Warner Bros Animation is the prodco behind the project, which has been ordered for two seasons.

The plot catches up with 20-somethings Clark Kent, Lois Lane and their best friend Jimmy Olsen as they begin to discover who they are and everything they can accomplish together as an investigative reporting team at the Daily Planet.

There were also a slew of announcements from WarnerMedia-owned cablenets TNT, TBS and TruTV.

Tony Goncalves, exec VP and chief revenue officer for WarnerMedia, and Brett Weitz, general manager of TBS, TNT and TruTV, unveiled Front Row, a new programming block for both channels on which new premium content from HBO Max, TBS and TNT will premiere with limited commercials.

HBO Max originals including Love Life, Close Enough, Titans and Class Action Park are all being lined up for the block, along with the first season of The Flight Attendant, which will air on TBS in 2022 ahead of the S2 premiere on HBO Max.

Meanwhile TBS’s reboot of classic physical gameshow format Wipeout has been renewed for a second season from Endemol Shine North America.

Also getting a second season is TruTV’s Fast Foodies, a culinary competition show produced by Warner Bros Unscripted Television in association with Shed Media.

Finally, single-camera comedy Chad has also been given a second run on TBS. The show follows a 14-year-old pubescent Persian boy, played by Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live, New Girl, Aladdin), as he navigates his first year of high school and embarks on a mission to become popular.

Pedrad created the show and is also executive producer and showrunner. Oly Obst (3 Arts) also exec produces along with Rob Rosell, who co-developed the series with Pedrad. Max Searle has been tapped as co-showrunner for S2.


Please wait...