Warner reveals HBO Max streaming service will launch next year (and it will be the only place to watch Friends)

Mark Prigg
MP
Mark Prigg
Jul 10, 2019
  • HBO Max will launch with 10,000 hours of premium content
  • Will be the only place to stream Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and others

As you’ve probably already heard, it’s the end of Friends on Netflix.

All 236 episodes of this hit show are heading to a new home, on a new streaming platform — HBO Max.

Backed by WarnerMedia, the new service is planning to launch in spring and will include the entire HBO collection, along with new original content.

It’ll be backed by a huge roster of big names owned by the giant, including Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, and Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.

Along with Friends, HBO Max will also be the only place to stream The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Pretty Little Liars as well as the upcoming CW series Batwoman and Katy Keene.

It will join an ever-growing, and confusing, market of streaming services.

The service also rolled out top Hollywood celebs to back the service.

Anna Kendrick said, “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this family.”

Lena Dunham and Nicole Kidman also backed the service, while George R.R. Martin said he hoped the service would include “(I hope) a return to my world of Westeros.”

It comes as a huge blow to Netflix, which paid $100 million last December to continue licensing Friends for a year.

WarnerMedia hopes it can now take on Netflix and says the service will launch with 10,000 hours of premium content.

“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,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer.

There’ll also be a huge number of exclusive shows, including:

  • Dune: The Sisterhood, an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve
  • Tokyo Vice, based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort
  • The Flight Attendant, a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti
  • Love Life, a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig
  • Station Eleven, a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai
  • Made for Love, a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson
  • Gremlins, an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie
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