In September, HBO Max will begin streaming all five seasons of the HGTV programme “Fixer Upper,” which is a part of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network catalogue. This information was revealed exclusively to Variety.
According to a WarnerMedia source, “certain” Magnolia Network programmes, such as “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines,” and “The Lost Kitchen,” would be made available on the streamer on Friday, September 30. The former HGTV stars worked with the firm to develop their Magnolia linear and streaming channel before to Discovery’s merger with WarnerMedia last year.
According to industry insiders, the new series “Fixer Upper: The Castle,” which follows the Gaines as they repair their century-old castle in Waco, Texas, will make its premiere on October 14 on HBO Max, the linear Magnolia Network, and Discovery+.
The WBD source claims that further Magnolia Network content will ultimately be introduced to HBO Max in addition to its continuous availability on Discovery+, which has a monthly fee of $4.99 with commercials as opposed to $9.99 for HBO Max.
Prior to Warner Bros. Discovery’s Q2 earnings report and presentation, which will happen later today, the announcement will be made. CEO David Zaslav and colleagues are expected to talk about the business’s future objectives as well as the future of HBO Max and Discovery+, which will eventually be unified into one platform, during the presentation.
Magnolia Network debuted as a Discovery+ app in July of last year, then in January, a linear channel with the new name DIY Network went live.
Prior to the completion of Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia and rebranding into Warner Bros. Discovery, Variety exclusively disclosed in April that it had been determined that management of Magnolia Network, a joint venture between the Gaineses and Discovery, will come under the team at HBO.
Under the new organisational structure, Casey Bloys, head of content for HBO and HBO Max, is now Allison Page’s immediate subordinate. Bloys is one of the few top WarnerMedia executives left standing after the massive departure that began prior to the closure of the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger and has continued as Zaslav gradually reveals his new leadership team and structure.
Given that the Gaineses’ history as HGTV icons has long placed them in close proximity to the Discovery brand, HBO and Bloys taking the helm of the lifestyle brand from the “Fixer Upper” stars rather than Warner Bros. Discovery chairman and chief content officer for U.S. networks group Kathleen Finch is a notable example of how the two businesses have merged.
What about Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max?
The news that Warner Bros. had cancelled “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt,” which was earlier slated to release this holiday season, and a planned and largely finished “Batgirl” film that was to premiere on the service leaked on Wednesday.
Fans and media members noted Thursday that six HBO Max original movies, including Seth Rogen’s “An American Pickle” and “Moonshot,” starring Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor, had been taken down from the platform in addition to the films that had been cancelled. (The movies can still be purchased via websites that offer video on demand.)
Warner Bros. is changing its approach to movie releases and cutting costs under David Zaslav, the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery. The company launched movies simultaneously in cinemas and on HBO Max in 2021 under the leadership of former CEO Jason Kilar (partially in response to a pandemic). Some movies, like “Batgirl,” were only intended for HBO Max.
Before distributing films to HBO Max this year, Warner Bros. has reverted to exclusive theatrical windows for at least 45 days. “Batgirl” has a larger budget for an HBO Max film even while it isn’t as expensive as other superhero movies, which normally cost $150 million to $200 million to produce. Zaslav has insisted that a theatrical release is the best option for more expensive films. For that kind of release, however, marketing a film like “Batgirl” would cost tens of millions more.
What more alterations might happen? CNN initially switches to Discovery+
There is a two-way flow of shows among the streamers.
In a new “CNN Originals” section, Discovery+ will begin streaming CNN shows like “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” and “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell” on August 19. (No Reservations, Bourdain’s debut travel and culinary programme, was already on Discovery+ since it debuted on The Travel Channel.) CNN+, a streaming service, was discontinued by Warner Bros. Discovery management earlier this year after just one month.
Up until Discovery+ and HBO Max combine to form one service, this kind of content sharing will probably become the standard. The newly merged company’s management has made it known that it plans to eventually integrate HBO Max and Discovery+. Before the services can be joined, WBD will test with discounted “bundling” to ease the transition, much like Disney does with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, according to CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels’ explanation from March. He remarked, according to Variety, “so right out of the gate, we’re working on having the bundling approach ready,” during the Deutsche Bank 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. “It will take some time to build one very, very strong combined direct-to-consumer product and platform.”
On a Thursday results call for the second quarter, it is anticipated that additional strategic changes would be disclosed.