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HBO Max Looks to Comic Book Shows to Bolster Content Offering

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BY July 24, 2019
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Up until now, Doom Patrol has only been available on the DC Universe’s subscription service. Wait, you didn’t know that DC had its own streaming platform? Yeah, me neither. This $7.99/month service has a small handful of original content, including Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing (which has already been canceled). The service offers a pretty limited amount of content, and appeals only to the average DC fan, which limits their target audience. So, it came as no surprise when the upcoming service, HBO Max, announced that it was growing its list of content by hosting season two of Doom Patrol. This marks another inter-streaming shift and could mean an ongoing collaboration with the two services.

What’s Doom Patrol‘s Deal?

Doom Patrol premiered earlier this year in February. The show is based on a superhero team originating in original DC comics. The series adapts a run by writer Grant Morrison that took this wacky X-men clone (though they technically debuted first) and turned it into a meditation on being an outsider and a screw-up. The impressive cast list includes Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, and Alan Tudyk, among others. This cast is certainly impressive, and it’s surprising that the show hasn’t been receiving much word-of-mouth. The lack of viewers, though, is likely based on the fact that it’s hosted on such a small streaming service.

Are Your Favorite Shows Moving to HBO Max?

HBO Max has yet to release and will be available in the spring of 2020. The service already promised content that is subscription worthy on those names alone. Among these is Friends, which will be making the move from Netflix. Not only is HBO Max already securing some binge-worthy content, but audiences are already familiar with the HBO name. Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, and newer shows like Euphoria and Big Little Lies have made HBO a household name across a wide variety of audiences. Doom Patrol hasn’t gotten the best viewership ratings but has held strong in reviews. So, making the jump to a successful platform can give it the ratings boost that it needs (and deserves).

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Image via HBO

While many shows go from one subscription service to the other, or change networks, Doom Patrol is making the leap without leaving the original. The second season will premiere on both services simultaneously. And the first season will also be available on HBO Max once it is released. Having a show successfully operate on both platforms could mean a growing bond between DC and HBO. Since the DC service doesn’t have as much content as most platforms, there could also be a chance in the future of combining the two, with HBO absorbing DC’s content for exclusive streaming rights. Since the two services are both owned by parent company Warner Media, it could suggest an eventual merger of the two. And, if this is the case, then HBO Max could keep all DC content, while Disney+ will hold all Marvel content. Poor Netflix.

The Never-Ending Streaming Wars

Doom Patrol may be a small show, but this move could mean plenty for the streaming wars. If HBO Max adds other DC Universe content, such as the original TV-MA series Titans or the catalog of older DC shows, merging the two services seems like a foregone conclusion. We may start seeing the more successful platforms buying out smaller platforms to grow its content list. This would be a boon for the smaller services who may not have the capital to burn on original programming. If this is the case, we can only expect the giants of streaming, like Netflix or Prime Video, to become more powerful. The fight for subscribers continues, and the main weapon in their arsenal will be exclusive, bankable content.

Featured image via DC Universe.

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Meghan Hale is a graduate student living right outside of Toronto, Canada. She has always been the go-to gal for talking about anything film related and has a frustratingly long list of movie trivia up her sleeve. She is currently working on her first screenplay, as well as a horror novel, with the goal of publishing it while Stephen King is still around to read it.

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