‘Westworld’ and Other Shows Pulled by HBO Max to Be Licensed to Free Ad-Supported Streamers

Prepare to see these scrapped HBO Max shows on free streaming TV in the near future

Evan Rachel Wood in "Westworld" Season 4 Episode 8 (HBO)

HBO Max is finally clarifying where all these shows being pulled from the streaming service are going. Days after word broke that “Westworld,” “The Nevers,” “Love Life” and “Minx” are all destined to be pulled off of HBO Max (with “Westworld” formally canceled), Warner Bros. Discovery now says many of these shows are being licensed to third party FAST services — which stands for free, ad-supported streaming TV (like Amazon’s Freevee or Roku Channel).

“Warner Bros. Discovery continues to strategically assess how best to maximize audiences and monetization opportunities for its content,” a statement reads. “The company has recently decided to license certain HBO and HBO Max original programming to third party FAST services to be part of a packaged offering which will drive new, expanded audiences for these series. As we prepare for this transition, these series will be coming off of the HBO Max service in the coming days.”

“Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy added, “We are incredibly proud of Westworld and the remarkable work of our cast and crew. We are excited to have the opportunity to welcome a whole new audience to our show.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of FAST services, they’re streaming services with ads that allow people to watch content they’d normally find on television for free — basically the streaming service version of a TBS or TNT, a network that plays reruns and old movies. Existing FAST services include Roku’s Roku Channel, Amazon’s Freevee, Vudu, Viacom’s Pluto TV, Xumo and Tubi.

These are the shows heading to third party FAST services:

  • Westworld – seasons 1, 2, 3, 4
  • The Nevers – season 1
  • Raised by Wolves – seasons 1, 2
  • FBOY Island – seasons 1, 2
  • Legendary – seasons 1, 2, 3
  • Finding Magic Mike – season 1
  • Head of the Class – season 1
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife – season 1

In addition to those listed above, these series will also be coming off HBO Max in the coming days. HBO Max is speaking with the studio partners about opportunities to further expand the reach of the shows, including but not limited to licensing the series to third party FAST platforms.

  • Gordita Chronicles – season 1
  • Love Life – seasons 1, 2
  • Made for Love – seasons 1, 2
  • The Garcias – season 1
  • Minx – seasons 1, 2

Warner Bros. Discovery will announce additional details about its own long-term WBD FAST offering in 2023.

This news comes as an SEC filing from Wednesday reveals that Warner Bros Discovery now expects to incur total pre-tax restructuring charges of $4.1 – $5.3 billion, which is well above the initial announcement of charges for $3.2 – $4.3 billion the company said would be related to its restructuring initiatives. This as the company’s stock price has fallen 53% YTD.

So what does all of this mean? Well, until WBD launches its own FAST offering, it’ll be saving money by licensing these library titles out to third party services, in addition to hopefully making an impact on the company’s earnings report by removing the content entirely.

Those in the second grouping, like “Minx” which is in production on Season 2, are owned by outside studios and are more likely to find an entirely new home on a major streaming service or network.