HBO Max cuts dozens of titles in a cost-cutting move before a merger with Discovery+
HBO Max is pulling 36 titles from its streaming platform this week, the company confirmed to NPR, citing the pending merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, which are both owned by parent conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery. It's the platform's latest and largest content purge in a series of recent cost-cutting moves.
"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 emailed to NPR. "That will include the removal of some content from both platforms."
The content set to disappear includes HBO Max originals like the teen drama Generation and Sesame Street spinoff The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, as well as an unspecified selection of Sesame Street specials, and several animated shows, including Summer Camp Island.
HBO Max has quietly axed several shows and movies in recent weeks, such as Vinyl, Mrs. Fletcher, Run and Camping. But this latest announcement marks the most titles the company has taken off the platform, Variety reported. Removing titles that aren't as popular, the publication noted, will likely save Warner Bros. Discovery money on residuals for those programs.
The content slashes are just one part of multiple changes — largely hitting HBO Max the hardest — ahead of the merger, in the wake of last year's merger between Warner Media and Discovery.
About 70 employees — or about 14% of the total staff — were laid off earlier this week, as Deadline reported. Most of the layoffs were on the HBO Max side, as Warner Bros. Discovery looks to reduce redundant positions.
The news follows the platform's recent canning of Batgirl while the film was in post-production, which Warner Bros. Discovery attributed to its "leadership's strategic shift" as it rethinks its superhero content.
Here's the full list of the titles HBO Max says it will remove this week:
12 Dates of Christmas
About Last Night
Aquaman: King of Atlantis
Ellen's Next Great Designer
Elliott From Earth
Esme & Roy
Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart
Messy Goes to Okido
Mia's Magic Playground
My Dinner with Herve
My Mom, Your Dad
OK K.O.! - Let's Be Heroes
The Ollie & Moon Show
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness
Select Sesame Street Specials
Make It Big, Make It Small
Summer Camp Island
The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo
The Runaway Bunny - Special
Tig n' Seek
Victor and Valentino
Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs
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