HBO Max sets release dates for second slate of original series

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HBO Max, the soon-to-release streaming platform from AT&T’s WarnerMedia, unveiled the release dates for its second wave of original shows to hit this summer.

The first of the slate’s programming arrives on June 18, weeks after HBO Max’s launch on May 27, and continues throughout the summer. Among the offerings: a second season of DC Comics web series Doom Patrol, a third season of the TBS comedy thriller Search Party, an Amy Schumer docuseries charting her pregnancy, and a Seth Rogen comedy feature An American Pickle—the streaming platform’s first original film.

This second wave of shows follows HBO Max’s initial rollout on the 27th, spearheaded by the Anna Kendrick-starring, Paul Feig-produced series Love Life. Also included: a new Looney Tunes Cartoons series from Warner Bros. Animation and Sesame Workshop’s The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.

Altogether, the upcoming programming ensures that HBO Max is outfitted with original content to sustain its launch during a dry-up of film and television production amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Shortly after the initial launch our monthly strategy kicks in, as we introduce great new originals every month throughout the year,” Kevin Reilly, HBO Max’s chief content officer, said in a statement announcing the summer slate programming.

HBO Max is the latest gamble from a traditional media giant to launch a premium streaming service as consumers increasingly cut the cord and spend subscription dollars on Netflix and Amazon Prime. After AT&T acquired Time Warner for $85 billion in 2018, it spun Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner Broadcasting into a new entertainment conglomerate called WarnerMedia.

Former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar was recently hired as WarnerMedia’s chief executive with the hope that his digital experience will guide the telecom giant into the streaming age. With the combined TV networks, film studios, and popular franchises, AT&T hopes it can compete with new and established competition alike.

Comcast launched its own streaming service, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, exclusively to Xfinity subscribers in mid-April. The platform will roll out to all nationwide on July 15. Meanwhile, Disney launched Disney+ in November and has already amassed 50 million subscribers. The company is bundling the service with ESPN+ and Hulu, which it now has majority control of after acquiring 21st Century Fox for $71 billion in 2019.

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