WarnerMedia finally announced exactly when its streaming service HBO Max will be available for potential subscribers.
HBO Max will hit the market on May 27, the company announced Tuesday. The offering will cost $14.99, the same price as an HBO-only subscription. The price makes HBO Max among the most expensive services, when compared to Netflix, Hulu and fellow newer entrants like Peacock, Quibi, Apple TV+ and Disney+.
The service will be free of charge to AT&T and Charter customers who already subscribe to HBO either through a pay-TV subscription or digital via HBO Now. Those who subscribe to AT&T’s highest-tier wireless, video and internet plans will also have HBO Max included. Additionally, all other AT&T customers will get anywhere between one and 12 months free, depending on their plan.
An ad-supported version of HBO Max will launch in 2021.
Also on Tuesday, HBO Max revealed which of its many previously ordered original projects will be available on launch day. These include: scripted comedy “Love Life,” starring Anna Kendrick; Sundance 2020 Official Selection feature documentary “On the Record”; underground ballroom dance competition series “Legendary”; “Craftopia,”hosted by YouTube sensation LaurDIY; the all-new “Looney Tunes Cartoons,” from Warner Bros. Animation; and Sesame Workshop’s “The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.”
As TheWrap previously reported, “Friends” reunion special which was originally set to be available when the service debuted has now been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Per HBO Max, “After the initial launch, Max Originals will continue to premiere on the streamer at a regular cadence through summer and fall including ‘The Flight Attendant,’ starring and executive produced by Kaley Cuoco, from Berlanti Productions and based on the novel by New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian; the highly anticipated ‘Friends’ unscripted cast reunion special; all-new original episodes of the critically acclaimed DC fan favorite ‘Doom Patrol’; the return of the critically beloved mystery comedy ‘Search Party’ with a brand new season; the three-part documentary series ‘Expecting Amy,’ an unfiltered and intimate view into comedian Amy Schumer’s life on tour creating a stand-up special during her difficult pregnancy; sci-fi series ‘Raised by Wolves’ from director and executive producer Ridley Scott, the award-winning creator behind ‘The Martian,’ ‘Gladiator,’ and ‘Blade Runner; the adult animated comedy ‘Close Enough,’ from J.G. Quintel (creator of Cartoon Network’s Emmy-winning ‘Regular Show’), a hilarious look at the surreal life of a millennial family living with roommates; and ‘Adventure Time: Distant Lands- BMO,’ the first of four breakout specials resurrecting Cartoon Network’s Emmy and Peabody award-winning franchise ‘Adventure Time.'”
HBO Max will also offer thousands of films and series from WarnerMedia-owned brands like HBO, 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. These include rights to classic sitcoms like “Friends,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” — which had previously not been available on any streaming service — as well as Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars.”
Per HBO Max, “Highlights of the extensive WarnerMedia portfolio of programming and acquisitions that will be available on day one include the libraries of ‘Friends,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Rick and Morty,’ ‘The Boondocks,’ ‘The Bachelor,’ ‘Sesame Street,’ ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'; CW shows such as ‘Batwoman,’ ‘Nancy Drew’ and ‘Katy Keene'; the first season of DC’s ‘Doom Patrol'; ‘The O.C.'; ‘Pretty Little Liars'; the CNN catalogue of ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown'; and much more. Soon after, the platform offering will continue to grow adding the libraries of ‘South Park’, ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘The West Wing,’ and more within the first year of launch.”
“In addition to series, specials, and docs, HBO Max will feature a library of more than 2,000 feature films within the first year. Audiences will be able to watch 700 blockbuster films via the HBO service, including ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ ‘A Star is Born,’ ‘Aquaman,’ and ‘Joker,’ as well as films acquired specifically for HBO Max via Warner Bros., the Criterion Collection, and the acclaimed Studio Ghibli. Streaming for the first time ever in the U.S., 20 films from Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli animation house will be available on HBO Max at launch, including Academy Award winner ‘Spirited Away’ and Academy Award nominees ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ and ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,’ as well as fan favorites ‘My Neighbor Totoro,’ ‘Princess Mononoke,’ ‘Ponyo,’ and ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service.'”
HBO Max is launching a month after two other streaming newcomers, Peacock and Quibi, make their respective debuts in April.
“Our number one goal is having extraordinary content for everyone in the family, and the HBO Max programming mix we are so excited to unveil on May 27th will bear that out,” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of Warner Media entertainment and direct-to-consumer said in a statement. “Even in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic, the all-star teams behind every aspect of HBO Max will deliver a platform and a robust slate of content that is varied, of the highest quality, and second to none. I’m knocked out by the breadth and depth of our new offering, from the Max originals, our Warner Bros library and acquisition titles from around the world, and of course the entirety of HBO.”
“Consumers will quickly see that HBO Max is set apart by a foundation of loved brands built over decades but stitched together with a distinctive voice and product experience,” added Kevin Reilly, chief content officer for HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS, and truTV. “Our team has meticulously selected a world-class library catalogue and collaborated with top creators across all genres to offer a monthly cadence of original series and movies that we will program and promote for cultural impact.”
“It is thrilling to be approaching the launch of HBO Max so we can finally share the first wave of content our teams have been developing in partnership with a group of unparalleled creators,” Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max’s head of original content. “The originals slate available at launch represents a diverse range of unique voices emblematic of the quality and scope of our programming still to come.”