‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Welcome to Derry’ Series Move From Max to HBO in Strategy Shift

Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Harry Potter” series and the “It” prequel “Welcome to Derry” are moving from Max to HBO, cementing the premium cable brand as the home for the media conglomerate’s big-budget IP projects moving forward, TheWrap has learned.

The move comes as HBO announced an official series order for its long-gestating “Green Lantern” TV series “Lanterns,” bringing the first live-action project from the new DC Universe into the network’s purview. That’s as opposed to Max, which previously debuted DC shows “Peacemaker” and the upcoming “The Batman” spin-off, “The Penguin.”

The strategy shift will begin to take shape with 2025 releases, as “The Penguin” and the upcoming “Dune” spin-off series “Dune: Prophecy” are expected to stay under the Max umbrella having already been sold overseas as such, as first reported by Variety. What’s clear: a strategic shift from Warner Bros., who’d previously established all big-budget IP-inspired projects would be released as Max originals when HBO and Max content CEO Casey Bloys assumed oversight of both brands in 2020.

Allowing HBO to take charge of the bigger event series also helps Max stay focused on capturing the appetite of a changing streaming landscape. The streamer has been joining other platforms in greenlighting more cost-effective, broadcast-like shows. Those include the upcoming medical drama “The Pitt,” starring Noah Wylie and created by John Wells and R. Scott Gemmill, as well as crime drama “Duster” from J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan.

The change finds Max’s drama head Sarah Aubrey working with HBO’s head of drama Francesca Orsi on “Harry Potter” and “Lanterns,” while things remain unchanged for comedy programming — Amy Gravitt already runs comedy for both brands.

The strategy shift also deepens the roster for shows running on HBO’s linear channel, with Bloys telling Variety of plans to run original shows on both Sunday and Thursday nights starting in 2025.

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