HBO Max is the name of WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, which will carry the complete 236-episode library of Friends, plus The CW’s upcoming Batwoman, original movies from Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, and full libraries of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Pretty Little Liars and more. Under new arrangements with Warner Bros Television and others, former Netflix mainstay Friends is headed to the new service in a five-year deal reportedly with a price tag of $425 million. A beta version of HBO Max is expected out by the end of 2019, with the full service launch in spring 2020.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer. “HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is Friends.” Among HBO programming previously announced for 2020-21 are Stephen King’s mystery The Outsider, horror series Lovecraft Country, exec-produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, and The Undoing, a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.