TV Talk

Is HBO Max the Biggest Threat to Netflix Yet?

With titles including Game of Thrones, Friends, Wonder Woman, and Sesame Street, as well as originals, could WarnerMedia’s streaming service be the Netflix-buster others have aspired to be?

by | July 10, 2019 | Comments

With The Office moving to NBC Universal’s new streaming service and Friends headed to HBO Max, will Netflix be able to retain its streaming dominance? We examine the newest entry into the field, HBO Max, plus gather the week’s other biggest TV news below.


HBO Max Is the Latest Streaming Service You Need to Know About

NBC Universal and Comcast’s upcoming, yet-to-be-named streaming service made headlines a few weeks ago for the news that it will be the new streaming home of The Office in 2021 — meaning the comedy will be leaving Netflix, where it’s been one of the most-watched series. But another new streaming service could be even more of a threat: HBO Max, the new streaming service from WarnerMedia that is scheduled to launch in spring 2020.

For starters: It’ll be the new streaming home of Friends, removing another of Netflix’s biggest hits. But more importantly, it’ll be the streaming home for HBO programming, including Game of Thrones and the network’s entire library of past, current, and upcoming series; Warner Bros. Television, responsible for many fan-favorite TV shows, including the CW superhero series, Pretty Little Liars, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Riverdale, and more; DC Entertainment; CNN; TNT; TBS; truTV; Cartoon Network; Adult Swim; Crunchyroll; Rooster Teeth; and Looney Tunes. Then there are the movies from Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros., and New Line (Wonder Woman, Shazam, A Star Is Born, and Crazy Rich Asians, among others).

The plan also includes a robust slate of HBO Max original series: a Dune series called Dune: The Sisterhood; the Ansel Elgort–starring Tokyo ViceKaley Cuoco thriller The Flight Attendant; romantic comedy anthology Love Life from Anna Kendrick and Paul Feig; postapocalyptic limited series Station Eleven; book adaptation Made for Love; and the Gremlins TV adaptation.

The inclusion of Game of Thrones and HBO content in addition to its presence on HBO’s existing streaming services, HBO Go (for cable subscribers) and HBO Now (streaming-only subscribers), is especially interesting. With the number of high-profile original series already in the works for HBO Max, could the new mega-service potentially serve as an exclusive home for other HBO content? In theory — and in theory alone, to be clear — HBO Max could potentially be a home for one of the other Game of Thrones prequel series still in development, much like CBS All Access is the home for exclusive Star Trek TV series.

Short-Form Streaming Service Quibi Taps Even More Big Names for Its Impending Launch

Darren Criss in attendance for 11th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ June 2, 2018. Photo By: Jason Mendez/Everett Collection
(Photo by Jason Mendez/Everett Collection)

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s short-form streaming service Quibi continues to attract more and more big-name talent. The service will launch in 2020 with programming distributed in “quick bites” designed to be watched on mobile devices. The latest shows in development for the service include a new adaptation of The Fugitive, a comedy about suicide from Peter Farrelly called The Now, a self-help series pairing a female WWE Superstar with young women struggling with personal issues called Fight Like a Girl, and a musical satire created by and starring Darren Criss called Royalties.

That’s in addition to the already-announced drama #FreeRayshawn from Antoine Fuqua and starring Stephan James and Laurence Fishburne, an action thriller starring Liam Hemsworth, the Paula Pell comedy Mapleworth Murders, Anna Kendrick buddy comedy Dummy, Tyra Banks unscripted series Beauty, Naomi Watts thriller Wolves and Villagers, a Guillermo del Toro zombie story, a horror anthology, a sci-fi drama set 15 minutes in the future, and more.

Mindy Kaling Finds Her Newest Leading Lady

After an international casting call, Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher have chosen Canadian unknown Maitreyi Ramakrishnan to star in their new coming-of-age Netflix series. The actress was chosen out of 15,000 people to play Devi, a first-generation Indian-American girl based on Kaling’s own childhood.

“We feel so much excitement to be bringing this story to life, & a responsibility, too. Depicting what it’s like to be a young desi woman right now- a real girl with real desires, ambitions & problems. Not just Indian American culture presented to us as side characters on a show,” Kaling wrote in a Twitter post announcing the news.

First Look at Netflix’s Sexy Danish Dracula

BBC One and Netflix have revealed the first image of Danish actor Claes Bang as Count Dracula in the upcoming BBC/Netflix limited series Dracula. He’ll star in the latest adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, which comes from Doctor Who and Sherlock‘s Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

Casting: Katherine Heigl Heads to Netflix, Elizabeth Hurley Joins Runaways

Pose star Angelica Ross has joined the cast of AHS: 1984. Creator Ryan Murphy announced the news on Instagram, also confirming the actress’ fate on Pose after a pivotal episode for her character.

Katherine Heigl will star in a new Netflix series called Firefly Lane, based on the book of the same name. She’ll play Tully Hart, a woman “still bearing the scars of a traumatic childhood” whose four-decade bond with BFF Kate is her grounding force.

Elizabeth Hurley will play Morgan le Fay in the upcoming third season of Marvel’s Runaways. The iconic Marvel villain is a sorceress and student of Merlin with the ability to enchant objects and astral project.

Jessica Jones star Carrie-Anne Moss and Danielle Campbell have joined the second season of CBS All Access anthology Tell Me a Story, which will combine the fairy tale stories of Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Campbell returns to the fold alongside fellow season 1 star Paul Wesley and the previously announced Odette Annable and Natalie Alyn Lind.

Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn is returning to TV in HBO’s drama Lovecraft Country, alongside Courtney B. Vance, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Jonathan Majors.

A Sad Goodbye: The Descendants Star Dies at 20

Cameron Boyce at arrivals for 2019 ARDYs (fka Radio Disney Music Awards), Studio City, Los Angeles, CA June 16, 2019. Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection
(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce died on July 6 at 20 years old after suffering an epileptic seizure, his family confirmed in a statement. The actor got his start in the Disney sitcom Jessie, and has starred in the popular Descendants TV movie musical series. Descendants 3 is scheduled to premiere Aug. 2 on the network. His Jessie and Descendants costars posted social media tributes to their friend, as did former First Lady Michelle Obama.

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