Warner Bros. Discovery continues to secretly hack HBO Max offerings ahead of its catalog merger with Discovery+. “Infinity Train”, “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo”, and many more join the list.
Warner Bros. Crusade Discovery vs. Its Own Content continued this week as another 37 titles were unceremoniously removed from HBO Max. Children’s programming and animated series have been particularly hard hit after news that the company was scaling back its efforts in those areas. Reality TV on HBO Max has also been decimated, a move highlighted by layoffs in the company’s unscripted division earlier this week.
“As we strive to bring our catalogs of content together on one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and Discovery+,” Warner Bros. executives Discovery explained by deadline. “This will include the removal of certain content from both platforms.”
“At the same time, we are already beginning to bring together our catalogs of content, such as the launch of the new CNN Originals hub on Discovery+ and a curated collection of Magnolia Network content coming soon to HBO Max,” the statement continued.
The promise of new collections of content is small consolation for those mourning the loss of what many considered one of the best streaming services, which previously offered beloved hidden gems like “Final Space.” , “Infinity Train”, “Generation”, “The Not-Too”. -Late Show with Elmo”, “Full Bloom” and “The Fungies!” among others.
By scaling back HBO Max, Warner Bros. Discovery removed huge chunks of not only original content from HBO and HBO Max (see everything from “Mrs. Fletcher” and “Vinyl” to “Aquaman: King of Atlantis” and “The Witches”), but also content from Cartoon Network, TBS and TruTV plus other movies and shows previously exclusive to the platform.
Why these series and movies are being taken down (and, perhaps more importantly, where they go next) isn’t in any case clear, though audiences are concerned that some titles may go down the path of infamous famous “Batgirl” and have never been seen before.
As IndieWire’s Tony Maglio explains, “Content targeted for removal tends to be shows and movies that aren’t airing on the service, but have the option of being partially removed. [tax] to write. Content costs can be amortized – or allocated to a cost that is recognized by an entity over several years – over the expected life of the program or film. If there are years left on that schedule, a business can withdraw that asset from distribution and use its remaining cost balance to offset taxable income elsewhere.
So while favorites acclaimed by large audiences have likely already found or will soon find new streaming homes, less successful projects might not be so lucky. (“12 Dates of Christmas”: Our hearts break for you.)
For ongoing updates, here are the 68 titles, including movies, TV shows, and specials, that were unceremoniously removed from HBO Max in the summer of 2022. The combined HBO Max/ Discovery+, which has yet to be named, is not expected to debut until this time next year.
Note: Entries appear in alphabetical order with children’s programming at the end. This list is not and – given the secretive nature of it all – could not be exhaustive. Some titles may still appear on the service for a limited and unknown time. Representatives of Warner Bros. Discovery did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment and confirmation.