HBO Max: When It Launches, What It Costs, and What It Has
Hoping to take some attention away from Apple TV+, which launches on November 1, and Disney+, which follows on November 12, HBO Max is doing its level-best to upstage its first-to-the-market competitors with a massive media blitz featuring a ton of announcements about content, pricing, and launch date.
First things first: The HBO Max streaming service will debut some time in May 2020. The exact date is still TBD, but the pricing is not; the service will cost $14.99 a month. That’s a significant step up in price from most of their competitors — Disney+ is $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year, Netflix is $8.99 a month, Hulu is $5.99 or $12.99 a month for ad-free — although some AT&T customers and HBO subscribers will get access for free. Here’s how the press release breaks that aspect down:
At launch, AT&T will immediately offer HBO Max to the roughly 10 million HBO subscribers on AT&T distribution platforms, at no additional charge. HBO Now direct-billed users who subscribe directly through HBONow.com will also have access to Warner Media’s HBO Max product. AT&T customers on premium video, mobile and broadband services will be offered bundles with HBO Max included at no additional charge.
The company is also touting “10,000 hours” or programming available at launch for the price of 15 bucks a month. Library content for the service will come from “Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more.” Library titles on the service will include South Park, Rick & Morty, The O.C., Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Bachelor, Impractical Jokers, The Closer, Rizzolli and Isles, Major Crimes, The Alienist, The West Wing, United Shades of America with Kamau Bell, This is Life with Lisa Ling, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. And the company had previously announced it would be home to all 236 episodes of Friends, Doctor Who, a Practical Magic prequel series, Sesame Street, a Grease TV show, and the entire Studio Ghibli library.
Now here are all the new originals they announced today (yes, there’s more):
- The Fungies!, from Stephen Neary and Cartoon Network Studios, is a prehistoric comedy that explores Fungietown through the whimsical quests of Seth, a young student at Fungietown Elementary.
- Tig N’ Seek from Myke Chilian and Cartoon Network Studios is about 8-year-old Tiggy and his gadget-building cat, Gweeseek, as they search for the lost items of Wee Gee City. With Tiggy’s cheerful attitude and Gweeseek’s exceptional inventing capabilities, the duo humorously navigate day-to-day dilemmas at the Department of Lost and Found.
- Tooned Out, executive produced by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump; Cast Away; Back to the Future), is a half-hour, hybrid live-action and animated comedy. Things get a little cartoony for Mac when he starts seeing iconic cartoon characters in his life, but they’re not just there for laughs, they’re helping him get through a very rough patch in his life.
- Looney Tunes Cartoons, an all-new series of 80 eleven-minute episodes and holiday-themed specials from Warner Bros. Animation starring the cherished classic Looney Tunes characters for today’s kids. Iconic characters will include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety, Sylvester, Granny, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Tasmanian Devil, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote and many more.
- Jellystone, a new animated children’s comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation that will welcome viewers to the town of Jellystone, where their favorite Hanna-Barbera characters live, work, play, and stir up trouble together.
- DC Super Hero High is a half-hour comedy series executive produced by Elizabeth Banks (Charlie’s Angels, Pitch Perfect, Shrill), which follows a group of students experiencing the fun and drama of adolescence at a boarding school for gifted kids. These teens are just trying to navigate the pressures of high school, but none of them realize that someday they will become legendary DC Super Heroes.
- Rap Sh*t (working title) from Issa Rae (Insecure; A Black Lady Sketch Show) is a half-hour comedy series that follows a female rap group from outside of Miami trying to make it in the music industry.
- College Girls (working title), the latest series from Mindy Kaling (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Late Night, The Mindy Project, The Office), is a 13-episode half-hour, single-camera comedy following three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore College in Vermont who are equal parts lovable and infuriating.
- Strange Adventures, a DC Super Hero anthology series executive produced by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Titans, Doom Patrol), will feature characters from across the DC canon. This one-hour drama series will explore close-ended morality tales about the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans.
- A Green Lantern inspired series from Berlanti Productions that will finally introduce characters from this iconic comic in Berlanti’s biggest series yet.
- A Series of Stand Up Specials presented by Conan O’Brien will feature five new comedy specials. O’Brien will host two specials, featuring short sets from multiple up-and-coming comics while also curating one-hour sets from three comedians. In addition HBO Max has purchased the rights to a one-hour special from comedian James Veitch.
- Raised by Wolves, an epic serialized sci-fi series executive produced and directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner, Alien: Covenant) centering on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet.
- Bobbie Sue is a feature-length film starring Golden Globe® winner Gina Rodriquez (Jane the Virgin) following the story of a headstrong young lawyer who lands a career-making case with an upper crust law firm, only to realize she’s been hired for optics and not her expertise.
I think that’s it. For now. HBO Max launches in May of 2020.
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