What we know about HBO Max originals following news of Discovery+ merger and layoffs

·9 min read
What we know about HBO Max originals following news of Discovery+ merger and layoffs

As expected, HBO Max is restructuring in the wake of the streamer's merger with Discovery+. Around 70 employees will be laid off as changes ripple across the platform, which includes a decrease in original content across the non-fiction and live-action family categories.

HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys' scripted team has remained intact amidst layoffs, with some differences in structure: HBO and HBO Max's comedy department will merge, for example, to align the scripted comedy slate under own umbrella since there are more overlaps in comedy, such as with Hacks and Sex and the City spin-off And Just Like That.

In terms of the non-fiction department (reality shows like FBoy Island and Legendary, for instance), existing unscripted series are expected to continue on or premiere as planned. The titles will remain on the roster so long as they continue to perform well. Moving forward, HBO Max will not add new original reality or documentaries since Discovery+ already has an expansive roster of those titles. For existing HBO Max reality non-fiction programs, renewals will be determined by viewing success.

Warner Bros. Discovery's CEO David Zaslav previously stressed a commitment to original programming after announcing the merger earlier this month. The reassurance came amid persistent rumors that the merger would result in axed HBO Max originals in the wake of Batgirl's surprise shelving. "Quality is what matters," he said. "Quality is what Casey and that team is delivering. It's the best team in the business. We're doubling down on that HBO team."

Hacks
Hacks

Karen Ballard/HBO Max Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder in 'Hacks'

Following the news of the restructure and layoffs, HBO Max shared that 37 titles, including 20 originals, will be removed the week of Aug. 17. "As we work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and discovery+," HBO Max said in a statement. "That will include the removal of some content from both platforms."

The original HBO Max titles leaving the streamer include: 12 Dates of Christmas; About Last Night; Aquaman: King of Atlantis; Close Enough; Ellen's Next Great Designer; Esme & Roy; The Fungies!; Generation Hustle; Generation; Infinity Train; Little Ellen; My Mom, Your Dad; Odo; Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness; Summer Camp Island; The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo; The Runaway Bunny; Theodosia; Tig n' Seek; and Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs.

So, where does that leave some of HBO Max's most high-profile original projects? Below is what we know so far. A list of the originals that will leave the streamer soon can also be found below. This article will be updated as more information about the shows — as well as movies that may or may not hit the streamer in the wake of HBO Max's theatrical prioritization (i.e. Shazam! Fury of The Gods, The Flash) — becomes available.

Hacks

Hacks, the Emmy-winning dramedy centered on the mentorship between a legendary Las Vegas comedian (Jean Smart) and a young comedy writer (Hannah Einbinder) was renewed for season 3 in June.

The Sex Lives of College Girls

Mindy Kaling's teen dramedy centered on the sex lives of four college freshmen (played by Pauline Chalamet, Amrit Kaur, Reneé Rapp, and Alyah Chanelle Scott) was renewed for season 2 in December 2021.

And Just Like That

Sex and the City revival And Just Like That featuring original stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis was renewed for season 2 in March.

Peacemaker

The adaptation centered on the DC Comics superhero of the same name, played by John Cena, was renewed for season 2 in February. Creator James Gunn confirmed season 2 is still on track following Batgirl's axe.

Our Flag Means Death

David Jenkins and Taika Waititi's period romance comedy, centered on an aristocrat who abandons his life of privilege to become a pirate in the early 18th century, was renewed for season 2 in June.

Minx

The Jake Johnson-starring comedy set in 1970s Los Angeles and centered on a young feminist (Ophelia Lovibond) who joins forces with a low-rent publisher (Johnson) to create the first erotic magazine for women, was renewed for season 2 in May.

Ophelia Lovibond in Minx
Ophelia Lovibond in Minx

Katrina Marcinowski/HBO Max Jake Johnson and Ophelia Lovibond in 'Minx'

The Garcias

HBO Max has yet to share news about the possibility of a season 2 for the sitcom, which follows a Texas-based family (Jeffrey Licon, Alvin Alvarez, Vaneza Pitynski, and Nitzia Chama) who gather for a summer vacation at their beach house in Mexico.

Rap Sh!t

Issa Rae's comedy, centered on two estranged friends who reunite to form an all-female rap group to try to break into the music industry, has not yet been canceled or renewed for season 2.

Julia

The series inspired by the life of Julia Child (played by Sarah Lancashire) and her cooking show The French Chef was renewed for season 2 in May.

Love Life

The romantic comedy anthology series that has starred Anna Kendrick and William Jackson Harper, which explores the journey from first love to last love, has not been canceled or renewed for season 3.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

HBO Max has yet to share season 2 renewal news for Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, the currently airing PLL spin-off series, which is centered on a new group of teens (Bailee Madison, Maia Reficco, Chandler Kinney, and Mallory Bechtel) who are tormented by an unknown assailant.

Gossip Girl

The Gossip Girl reboot following a new generation New York private school teenagers (Emily Alyn Lind, Whitney Peak, Thomas Doherty, Zión Moreno, Jordan Alexander, and Evan Mock) was renewed for season 2 last September.

FBoy Island

The shocking season 2 finale of FBoy Island, a reality series that follows women as they try to determine which of their suitors are "nice guys" or "f-boys," dropped on Aug. 4. HBO Max has yet to share details about a potential season 3.

FBOY Island
FBOY Island

Hassen Salum/HBO Max Mia and Danny in 'FBoy Island'

Titans

The gritty, coming-of-age take on the Teen Titans franchise starring Teagan Croft, Anna Diop, Brenton Thwaites, and Ryan Potter is confirmed for season 4, but a release date has not been shared yet. Filming began in February.

Legendary

The voguing reality competition series inspired by the underground ballroom community, concluded season 3 in June. HBO Max has yet to share renewal news for a potential season 4.

Tokyo Vice

The crime drama series based on Jake Adelstein's 2009 memoir and starring Ansel Elgort as Adelstein, a journalist who plugs into the Tokyo Vice police squad, was renewed for season 2 in June.

Selena + Chef

A fourth season of pop star and actress Selena Gomez's cooking reality series has been confirmed and will return Aug. 18.

Doom Patrol

Doom Patrol, the comedy-drama series about a team of traumatized and downtrodden superheroes (starring Brendan Fraser, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, and Riley Shanahan) was renewed for season 4 last October.

Starstruck

The rom-com about a millennial in London (Rose Matafeo) who continues to cross paths with a famous film star (Nikesh Patel) after a one-night stand was renewed for season 3 in June.

Starstruck
Starstruck

Mark Johnson/HBO Max Rose Matafeo in 'Starstruck'

The Other Two

The Other Two, a comedy about a pair of siblings — one with dreams of becoming an actor (Drew Tarver), the other on the road to self improvement (Heléne Yorke) — whose lives are turned upside down after their teenage brother (Case Walker) becomes an internet sensation was renewed for season 3 last September.

Sweet Life: Los Angeles

Issa Rae's reality series centered on the ventures of young Black adults as they pursue their dreams in sunny Los Angeles is currently in the midst of season 2. HBO Max has yet to share news about a potential season 3.

Green Lantern

The upcoming series, rumored to be about entered around multiple Green Lanterns  and span across multiple periods of time, remains "very much alive" and "definitely moving forward," HBO Max said earlier this month.

The Penguin

The Batman spin-off centered on the villain played by Colin Farrell is still in development and moving along.

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn, the animated series that stars Kaley Cuoco as the criminal queenpin in Gotham City, is in the midst of its third season. It was renewed for season 4 in August.

Madame X

J.J. Abrams (who has several projects in development with the streamer) and Angela Robinson are developing a scripted drama based on the DC Comics character, part of the Justice League Dark universe, for the streamer. No updates have been shared.

Justice League Dark

Abrams is attached to this ensemble live-action drama that will bring several iconic heroes together. No updates have been shared, but TVLine has reported it still in the midst of development.

Constantine reboot

Abrams is also attached to this series about DC Comics character John Constantine, a British exorcist and occult detective specializing in the supernatural. No updates have been shared about the darker reboot centered on a younger version of the detective.

Val-Zod series

Michael B. Jordan is attached to executive produce the series centered on on Val-Zod, a Black Kryptonian who found his way to Earth and takes over the mantle as Superman. No updates have been shared.

DC Super Hero High

HBO Max announced in 2019 that the comedy from Elizabeth Banks, centered on adolescences at a boarding school for gifted kids, would arrive on the streamer, but no updates have been shared.

Pennyworth

The former Epix prequel series that explores the origin story of the Batman butler was renewed for season 3 at HBO Max last October. No updates have been shared.

My Adventures With Superman

The animated series starring Jack Quaid as Clark Kent as he builds his Superman persona received a two-season order last May. No updates have been shared.

Dune: The Sisterhood

A prequel to the original Dune, the series about the lives of the Bene Gesserit is still on track, with Deadline reporting that casting is underway.

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