As the streaming wars continue to rage, WarnerMedia has stripped Netflix of its subscribers’ beloved Friends and announced that it will launch its own service called HBO Max.
Debuting in spring 2020, the streaming platform is set to be stacked with programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, the CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and more.
In addition, HBO Max will feature original programming that includes shows produced by Ellen DeGeneres, films produced by Reese Witherspoon and Greg Berlanti, and a whole lot more. Read on for a roundup of the projects coming to the streaming service.
[This article was originally published July 9, 2019, and most recently updated Jan. 22, 2020.]
Let Them All Talk: This original Steven Soderbergh-directed film stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author who goes on a therapeutic road trip with her friends, played by Dianne Wiest and Candice Bergen. Her nephew (Lucas Hedges) tags along and becomes involved with her literary agent (Gemma Chan).
UNpregnant: As part of executive producer Greg Berlanti’s deal, one of the first films from WarnerMedia’s streaming service tackles the hot-button topic of abortion. Haley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira star as two teens going on a road trip to New Mexico for Richardson’s character to make a decision about terminating her pregnancy before college. The YA novel adaptation will be directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg.
Superintelligence: Melissa McCarthy stars in this comedy as a woman whose phone, TV, and microwave start talking to her. It turns out the world’s first superintelligence — A.I. with an attitude — has decided to take over her life before taking over the world. Bobby Cannavale, Brian Tyree Henry, Jean Smart, and James Corden are also starring.
The Scoop: This CNN Films documentary follows the network’s female political reporters as they cover the 2020 presidential campaign, with “unprecedented access” to the campaign press corps.
Persona: This documentary, another CNN production, delves into America’s fascination with personality tests, from dating apps to job applications, with the aim of revealing how these tests have impacted our world.
Bobbie Sue: Starring Gina Rodriguez in the title role, this film tells the tale of a scrappy, headstrong young lawyer who thinks she’s landed her big break with a case at an upper-crust law firm. She quickly realizes she’s been hired “for optics and not her expertise,” but decides to take the firm head-on when she discovers her powerful client is covering up her company’s exploitation of its workers.
Grease: Rydell High: This spin-off of the popular 1978 movie musical will still take place in the 1950s and feature new and old characters dealing with high school problems in 20th-century small-town USA.
Search Party: The critically acclaimed comedy-noir hybrid is moving from TBS to the streaming platform for its third and fourth seasons.
Americanah: Executive producer Lupita Nyong’o has recruited Black Panther costar (and Tony-nominated playwright) Danai Gurira to adapt Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s epic novel about the experiences of a Nigerian woman who immigrates to America. Nyong’o will play the protagonist, Ifemelu, in the 10-episode limited series.
Gossip Girl: The original creative team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage have tapped showrunner Josh Safran (Smash) to reboot the iconic CW series based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s YA novels. The show will spend 10 episodes centering on a new group of elite private school teens in New York City, and track how things have changed since the last iteration of the show.
The Flight Attendant: Kaley Cuoco produces and stars in this hourlong thriller series based on Chris Bohjalian’s 2018 novel about a flight attendant who wakes up hungover next to a dead body. Berlanti will also serve as executive producer.
Station Eleven: Patrick Somerville, of Maniac fame, is adapting Emily St. John Mandel’s post-apocalyptic novel that follows survivors of a devastating flu as they recover and rebuild society. Hiro Murai will direct and executive-produce the 10-episode limited series.
Made for Love: Also from showrunner Somerville, this 10 episode half-hour series is an adaptation of the gonzo sci-fi comedy novel written by Alisa Nutting; S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones) will direct and executive-produce.
Sesame Street: The famed children’s series and its multiple spin-offs are moving from HBO to HBO Max for the next five seasons.
Dune: The Sisterhood: From the mind of Denis Villeneuve, who is currently directing a film version of the initial book in Frank Herbert’s Dune series, this show will serve as a sequel series based on the book by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson that’s set in the same universe.
Tokyo Vice: Ansel Elgort will play an American reporter on the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat. The drama series is based on the firsthand nonfiction account by Jake Adelstein.
Circe: Madeline Miller’s best-selling 2018 novel, a retelling of Greek mythology through a modern lens, is being adapted into an eight-episode series by Jurassic World writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
Starstruck: Made in partnership with BBC Three, this six-part comedy written, created by, and starring U.K. comedian Rose Matafeo centers on a burnt-out twentysomething whose world turns upside down after she accidentally sleeps with a celebrity.
DC Super Hero High: Elizabeth Banks will executive-produce a comedy series following a group of students as they navigate adolescence at a boarding school for gifted kids, unaware that they’re on their way to becoming legendary DC heroes.
Rap Sh*t: In this comedy series from EP Issa Rae, a female rap group from outside Miami struggles to make it in the music industry.
College Girls: The latest comedy series from creator Mindy Kaling, College Girls follows three freshman roommates at Vermont’s Evermore College, all “a bundle of contradictions and hormones.” Misadventures are sure to ensue.
Raised by Wolves: Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott will produce and direct a sci-fi series centered around two androids raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet, as religious differences among the humans threaten the burgeoning colony.
Strange Adventures: In addition to his YA-targeted films, producer Greg Berlanti will bring this DC anthology series to HBO Max, exploring “close-ended morality tales” about the lives of mortals and superhumans, and featuring various DC characters from across the canon. Berlanti is also developing a Green Lantern-inspired series, though no further details on that project have been released.
Boys: HBO Max will stream this British series from writer Russell T. Davies (A Very English Scandal), the story of five friends facing the rise of AIDS in the 1980s. The main cast is mostly unknown actors, but also includes Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry.
Generation: Lena Dunham is an EP on this “dark yet playful” series, which sounds like a companion piece to Euphoria. Created by 18-year old Zelda Barnz and her father, Daniel, the show tells the tale of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality tests their conservative community’s deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family.
The Uninhabitable Earth: Director/producer Adam McKay (Succession, Vice) is adapting David Wallace-Wells’ nonfiction book of the same name into a scripted anthology series covering a wide range of genres and future scenarios stemming from climate change.
The Boondocks: Originally a comic strip, this animated television series won much acclaim during its run on Adult Swim before creator and showrunner Aaron McGruder left the project in season 4. McGruder returns to the suburban satire for two seasons, plus a special.
Gremlins: The team behind the upcoming Animaniacs reboot is working with showrunner Tze Chun to make an animated prequel series to the 1984 comedy-horror movie Gremlins. It will depict young Sam Wing (the shop owner in the movie) meeting Gizmo and going on an adventure through Shanghai that puts them into contact with all sorts of monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore.
Adventure Time: Distant Lands: Return to the mystical Land of Ooo with four new hourlong specials, each focusing on different characters, with Jake the Dog and Finn the Human reuniting for one more adventure.
Little Ellen: This 2D animated children’s show follows a 7-year-old DeGeneres on adventures around her hometown of New Orleans, taking in music and life lessons.
Ellen’s Home Design Challenge: As eight designers are given challenges that push their creativity, DeGeneres will weigh in with color commentary.
First Dates Hotel: Based on a U.K. format, this dating series features multiple generations of people get tailor-made romantic first dates. Contestants will decide at the end of there is a love connection, and can choose to stay one for a second date to ensure they’ve found a match.
Finding Einstein: This docuseries will focus on finding and cultivating the next generation of Albert Einsteins.
The Event: Master chef Wolfgang Puck is giving audiences an inside look at what goes in to catering some of the biggest events of the year like the official Oscars Party. Each one of the eight episodes of the docuseries will follow various members of Puck’s team as they push to surpass attendee’s expectations.
Craftopia: YouTube star Lauren Riihimaki, a.k.a. LaurDIY, will watch on as 9-to-15-year-old contestants gather materials to craft items for larger-than-life challenges.
Karma: Sixteen contestants ages 12 to 15 must overcome puzzles and physical challenges set under the rules of karma, with host Michelle Khare, a popular YouTuber, crowning one of them Karma Champion.
Full Bloom: This competition series will see 10 talented florists facing off to design and execute intricate displays.
Legendary: From the producers of Queer Eye, this 10-episode unscripted series will rotate around 10 vogueing houses as they compete in a themed ball each week.
The Greatest Space: The producer behind The Amazing Race have conceived an epic reality competition where interior designers transform empty rooms around the world. Each win allows them to design bigger more unique spaces, eventually leading to a substantial cash prize.
Brad & Gary Go To…: This six-episode reality series follows Fashion Police’s Brad Goreski and his husband, Gary Janetti, as they embark on a globetrotting “culinary adventure,” inspired by their Instagram stories.
The Ho’s: This docuseries, described as “in the spirit of Crazy Rich Asians,” follows multiple generations of the Ho family, whose patriarch built a multimillion-dollar empire in Houston after immigrating from Vietnam.
Birth, Wedding, Funeral: CNN’s Lisa Ling will host this series exploring different countries’ cultures through the three titular rituals.
12 Dates of Christmas: This dating series will follow a cast of singles as they step into a real-life romantic comedy, filled with such winter-wonderland traditions as ice skating, sleigh rides, and mistletoe kisses, all arranged to help them find love in time for the holidays.
Heaven’s Gate: A CNN original series exploring the infamous religious movement, which culminated in the largest mass suicide ever on U.S. soil.
Generation Hustle: CNN is also producing this 10-part series examining the lengths young people will go to for fame, fortune, and power.
Team Coco comedy specials: Conan O’Brien will host two comedy specials featuring short sets from up-and-coming comics, and curate hourlong specials from three yet-to-be-announced comedians. O’Brien’s company Team Coco is also producing an hourlong special from comedian James Veitch.
Original stand-up specials: One-hour stand-up comedy specials are on the way from Tracy Morgan, Search Party‘s John Early, Rose Matafeo (who is also creating, writing, and starring in the comedy series Starstruck for the platform), and newcomer Ahir Shah.
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