WarnerMedia has unveiled HBO Max as the name of its new direct-to-consumer service, which will include exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of Friends.
HBO Max is scheduled to launch commercially in spring of 2020 and is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content.
New deals with Warner Bros. Television and others for HBO Max announced today include the exclusive rights for Friends, as well as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Pretty Little Liars. HBO Max will also be the exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.-produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including the highly anticipated new DC Entertainment series Batwoman and the Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene. Additionally, there are new exclusive movie production deals with Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon. Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is Friends,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer. “Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries—Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions)—and two of the most experienced digital experts—Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell—I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”
The lineup of Max Original series will 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 nonfiction firsthand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort; and The Flight Attendant, a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian that will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Berlanti. Additional Max Originals include Love Life, a romantic comedy anthology series starring Pitch Perfect‘s Anna Kendrick; the postapocalyptic limited series Station Eleven; Made for Love, based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting; and an animated Gremlins prequel.
HBO programming coming for 2020 and 2021 includes Stephen King’s The Outsider; Lovecraft Country, with EPs Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams; Julian Fellowes’ The Gilded Age; The Nevers, from Joss Whedon; and Avenue 5, from Veep‘s Armando Iannucci and starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad.