As part of the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia, the new company, Warner Bros. Discovery, is trying to save money. A lot of money: it has $50 billion in debt, and “vowed to find $3 billion worth of savings,” as The New York Times reported.
Those “savings” are coming in the form of two things: 1) actual human beings’ jobs, and 2) content including reality TV shows.
First, Warner Bros. Discovery fired the executive and team of people who developed its original reality TV series, such as Legendary, Fboy Island, and Selena + Chef.
They’ve said those shows may continue, but Deadline noted that “HBO Max was known to pay between $1.5 million-$2 million per episode of some of its unscripted shows, well above Discovery’s usual tariffs, which generally go as high as around $500,000 per hour.” That’s a huge difference—and explains the huge difference in quality.
It’s also dropping already-produced projects, including Batgirl; the second season of the wonderful sitcom Chad; and the completed TBS reality series The Big D, starring JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers. That form of accounting is called a “write-down,” and they’re doing a lot of it.
Part of that is removing existing content. As Indiewire reported earlier this month, those are shows that “have an opportunity for a partial write off.”
Among the reality shows already deleted are:
- Haute Dog, the better of the two dog grooming reality competitions
- Full Bloom, the floral arranging reality show that aired two seasons
Years earlier, HBO Max deleted Karma, a competition very much like Endurance, which premiered along with HBO Max and then mysteriously disappeared a few months later.
This evening, HBO Max just sent an announcement to media saying that 37 shows “will be coming off of HBO Max this week.” The company offered this explanation:
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+. That will include the removal of some content from both platforms.
At the same time, we’re already starting to bring our content catalogs together like the launch of the new CNN Originals Hub on discovery+ and a curated collection of Magnolia Network content coming soon to HBO Max.
The shows HBO Max is deleting next
This news, while distressing, is a good reminder that any show you rely on being available now may be gone soon.
The unscripted shows HBO Max is dumping this week (when exactly? *shrug emoji*) are:
- 12 Dates of Christmas, a two-season dating series that was one of the few to have queer leads
- About Last Night, on which Stephen and Ayesha Curry quizzed celebrity couples about their relationships
- Ellen’s Next Great Designer, a reboot of an HGTV show
- Generation Hustle, a documentary series that profiled “brilliant and brazen young individuals,” including Anna Delvey
- My Mom, Your Dad, a dating show produced by The Office EP Greg Daniels
- Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness, which followed the actor as he went “on a trip around the world as he investigates societal norms in search of answers to some of life’s most pressing questions.”
Here’s the full list of shows HBO just announced it’s removing:
- 12 Dates of Christmas
- About Last Night
- Aquaman: King of Atlantis
- Close Enough
- Detention Adventure
- Ellen’s Next Great Designer
- Elliott From Earth
- Esme & Roy
- The Fungies!
- Generation Hustle
- Infinity Train
- Little Ellen
- Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart
- Messy Goes to Okido
- Mia’s Magic Playground
- Mighty Magiswords
- 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
- Uncle Grandpa
- Victor and Valentino
- Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs