The company announced Wednesday that it "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."
So what the heck are FAST services? FAST stands for "free, ad-supported streaming TV." Examples include Amazon's Freevee and the Roku Channel. And will the WBD shows stay there? Not necessarily. In a news release, the company said it "will announce additional details about its own long-term WBD FAST offering in 2023."
John Johnson/HBO; Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max 'Westworld'; 'Raised by Wolves'
The shows headed to FAST so far are Westworld seasons 1-4, The Nevers season 1, Raised by Wolves seasons 1-2, FBoy Island seasons 1-2, Legendary seasons 1-3, Finding Magic Mike season 1, Head of the Class season 1, and The Time Traveler's Wife season 1. Most of those series had been canceled in recent weeks.
Gordita Chronicles, Love Life, Made for Love, The Garcias, and Minx will also be pulled from HBO Max in the coming days, but they do not have another platform as of yet. "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," WBD said.
Since WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. merged into WBD in April, the company has been culling shows and films, as well as making plans to take entire series catalogs off HBO Max, as cost-cutting measures under new CEO David Zaslav. By taking programs like Westworld off the platform, the company avoids having to pay residuals to the cast and crew. It also makes money by licensing the titles to third-party services.
Westworld, once a celebrated HBO flagship series, was the most high-profile of the shows getting pulled from HBO Max. WBD canceled the sci-fi drama earlier this year after the season 4 finale.
Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy provided a statement on the move of Westworld to FAST platforms. "We are incredibly proud of Westworld and the remarkable work of our cast and crew," they said. "We are excited to have the opportunity to welcome a whole new audience to our show."
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