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HBO Max and Discovery+ are merging. Here’s when, why and what’s changing

  • August 04, 2022

What the heck is going on at HBO Max? What does it have to do with Discovery+?

HBO Max, the home of prestigious HBO TV shows, Warner Bros. and DC Comics films, along with original series like “Sex and the City” revival “And Just Like That,” is going through some major changes this week, as its new owner plots a new strategy for the streamer and its affiliated entertainment brands, including Warner Bros. movie studios, TBS, TNT and CNN. 

But in summer 2023, starting in the U.S., Warner Bros. Discovery will begin the process of combining HBO Max with its corporate cousin Discovery+,  the home of reality TV from the likes of Food Network, HGTV, Magnolia Network, TLC, and Discovery Channel. This will create one big streaming service under the corporate umbrella of Warner Bros. Discovery. But what does that really mean for subscribers to each service?

We explain why the popular streaming services, which have a combined 92 million subscribing households (most to HBO Max), are undergoing a makeover.

Why is HBO Max changing at all? Why is it combining with Discovery+?

HBO Max is the streaming service started by the company formerly known as WarnerMedia, which included premium cable channel HBO, but also programming from cable networks including TBS, TNT and CNN and the Warner Bros. film studio. WarnerMedia was formerly owned by ATT, but the conglomerate announced in 2021 that it would spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery, a company that includes networks like Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, and streaming service Discovery+. The merger became official in April, and the new company is now called Warner Bros. Discovery.

The 50 best TV shows on HBO Max 

What Discovery shows are coming to HBO Max? Magnolia and more

HBO Max is getting a big addition from its new corporate cousin: Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network. 

HBO Max announced Thursday that “select content” from  Magnolia, currently available to stream on Discovery+, will arrive on HBO Max Sept. 30, including “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines,”and all five seasons of the original “Fixer Upper.” The Gaines’ latest series, “Fixer Upper: The Castle,” will premiere concurrently on Magnolia Network, HBO Max and Discovery+ on Oct. 14.

What about Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max?

On Wednesday news broke that Warner Bros. had axed a planned and mostly completed “Batgirl” film that was scheduled to premiere on the service, as well as DC Comics’ “Wonder Twins” and “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt,” previously due this holiday season. 

In addition to the canceled films, fans and reporters noticed Thursday that six HBO Max original movies had been removed from the platform, including “Moonshot,” starring Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor and Seth Rogen’s “An American Pickle.” (The titles are still available to purchase from video on demand sites).

‘Batgirl’ star Leslie Grace posts tribute to fans after Warner Bros. axes $90 million film

What other changes could come? For starters, CNN goes to Discovery+

Discovery+ announced Thursday that CNN programs such as “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell” will be available on Discovery+ Aug. 19 in a new “CNN Originals” hub. (Bourdain’s first travel and food show, “No Reservations,” was already on Discovery+ because it originally aired on The Travel Channel). Earlier this year, the CNN+ streaming service, was scrapped by Warner Bros. Discovery leadership after just a month. 

The 10 best TV shows on Discovery+: From ’90-Day Fiance’ to ‘MythBusters’ to Anthony Bourdain

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