It was inevitable Friends would eventually leave Netflix for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming platform, and now we have confirmation. The now-named service, HBO Max, will launch in Spring 2020 (in beta the 4th quarter of this year) and offer unlimited streaming of TV shows such as Friends, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Pretty Little Liars, and everything upcoming from The CW.
HBO Max will also host an impressive library of movie blockbusters such as A Star is Born, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Godzilla (2019), Wonder Woman, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as upcoming films from producer Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform,” said WarnerMedia’s Robert Greenblatt.
Warner has promised HBO Max will launch with 10,000 hours of premium content. Programming will also come from AT&T-owned networks CNN, TBS, TNT, and others. In addition, the new service will deliver an array of originals under the nomenclature Max Originals such as Dune: The Sisterhood, Made for Love, Station Eleven and a Gremlins animated series among the many previously-announced titles.
As far as Friends, the series will stay on Netflix until the start of 2020. That’s when the pricey deal with Warner Bros. ends and the 236-episode series will make its way to HBO Max. This is much sooner for Netflix subscribers who watch The Office which will expire after Jan. 2021 to eventually land on NBC’s upcoming streaming service.
HBO Max will follow the launch of Disney Plus scheduled for Nov. 12, 2019, which will host the Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises, Pixar movies, new Star Wars live-action series, and many other Disney-owned titles.