hbo axe’d

HBO Max Is Still Taking Stuff Down Without Warning

Illustration: Martin Gee

Update, Wednesday, December 14: After everything that’s been going on with HBO Max, Warner Bros. Discovery has released a recent list of titles that it has determined will be “coming off” the service in the coming days. The company said the streamer is in touch with HBO Max’s studio partners to discuss “opportunities to further expand the reach of the shows, including but not limited to licensing the series to third party FAST platforms” (a.k.a. free, ad-supported TV channels like Tubi, Pluto TV, or Freevee). Only time will tell if you wind up watching reruns of a flagship HBO title like Westworld on the Roku Channel, but its creators also released an accompanying statement: “We are incredibly proud of Westworld and the remarkable work of our cast and crew. We are excited to have the opportunity to welcome a whole new audience to our show.”

As we’ve reported below and elsewhere, the reason this is happening basically boils down to tax breaks: “There are legal rules and regulations allowing a company like WBD to write down costs incurred as part of a post-merger restructuring,” Vulture’s own Josef Adalian wrote in an explanatory piece today. We’ve updated our list below of 2022 cancellations and removals in the wake of the merger with asterisks next to the departures that were confirmed today.

The full list of shows HBO Max is removing:

12 Dates of Christmas
• About Last Night
At Home With Amy Sedaris
• An American Pickle
• Aquaman: King of Atlantis
• Beforeigners
• Charm City Kings
Close Enough
Czech It Out
Detention Adventure
• Ellen’s Next Great Designer
• Elliott From Earth
Esme & Roy
FBoy Island*
Final Space
• Finding Magic Mike*
Full Bloom
The Fungies!
• The Garcias*
• Generation Hustle
• Genera+ion
• Gordita Chronicles*
• Head of the Class*
Here and Now
• Infinity Train
• Locked Down
Love Life*
• Little Ellen
• Made for Love*
Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart
Messy Goes to Okido
Mia’s Magic Playground
Mighty Magiswords
• Minx*
• Moonshot
Mrs. Fletcher
My Dinner With Hervé
My Mom, Your Dad
The Nevers*
OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes
The Ollie & Moon Show
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
• Raised by Wolves*
• Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness
• Select Sesame Street specials
Make It Big, Make It Small
Summer Camp Island
The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo
The Runaway Bunny (special)
• The Time Traveler’s Wife*
Tig n’ Seek
• Westworld*
• The Witches (2020)

Update, Tuesday, December 13: The grim reapers at HBO Max are at it again. This time, they’re removing the HBO original series Westworld, as well as the Max Originals Love Life, Minx, and The Nevers, from the the streaming service, Deadline reports. Westworld — a buzzy sci-fi mainstay of HBO marketing across platforms in the past several years — is perhaps the biggest shocker of the bunch, but the Max Originals are surprising, too: The Nevers is the never-officially-canceled fantasy period drama by the megacanceled showrunner Joss Whedon (it will apparently wrap its remaining episodes on a Warner Bros. Discovery streaming service that is not HBO Max and also does not yet exist), Love Life is the first Max Original of all and never exactly felt expensive, and Minx had actually nearly wrapped production on its second season when the ax fell. No word yet on when exactly the titles are set to depart from the service. Earlier in the month, the fan-favorite title Gordita Chronicles was also canceled, with showrunner Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz lamenting on Twitter that it would be pulled from HBO Max. Other shows including FBoy Island, Los Espookys, and Legendary were also canceled, but it is unclear whether they’ll remain on the platform or not.

These cuts and the ones we’ve laid out below from earlier in the year, alongside Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s plan to merge HBO Max and Discovery+, are already radically reshaping the platform, which will probably wind up being called “Max” come next year. For now, HBO Max still has plenty of programming, but the service that once promised a semi-comprehensive home for HBO gems, high-quality licenses, and Warner Bros. favorites isn’t what it used to be. We’ve updated the list below with all the titles that have been or soon will be suddenly spiked from the service outside of its regular churn of licensed content.

Also, it should be noted that HBO shows, such as Westworld and Mrs. Fletcher, are available on HBO On Demand for cable users, as well as on VOD platforms. If you see any more curious disappearances from HBO Max, please feel free to notify us at

Update, Wednesday, August 17: As you probably know by now, not all the panicked rumors about HBO Max were true, but Warner Bros. Discovery has made it clear, in a recent statement, that more titles are leaving HBO Max and Discovery+ as they “work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform” by 2023. Thirty-six titles, including Max Originals Genera+ion and The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, will leave the streamer as soon as this week to make room for a “curated collection of Magnolia Network content” that is “coming soon” to HBO Max. A CNN originals hub is also set to debut on Discovery+. We’ve updated our list to include all of the titles set to depart.

Update, Thursday, August 4: The plot thickens. As rumors swirl surrounding HBO Max’s possible impending merger with Discovery+, many have discovered that the streamer has removed more titles from its library than previously reported. This morning, a tweet from @LanceStLaurent pointed out that not only are Max Original movies being removed, but the HBO original series Vinyl (short-lived, but alas) has also been unceremoniously removed from the streamer. Indiewire reported that a “long list of films and series” will continue to be pulled as Warner Bros. Discovery plans to eventually merge its two streaming services. “The content being targeted for removal tends to be shows and movies that are not performing on the service but have an opportunity for a partial write off,” per that report.

A Reddit thread from a month ago noticed a handful of HBO Max’s foreign shows like Amsterdam had also been quietly removed. The streamer’s customer-service Twitter account @HBOMaxHelp has corroborated this information. It’s been replying to users asking why certain titles have been removed with versions of this form answer: “As we work to bring together HBO Max and discovery+, we’re making some changes to our services. Part of that process includes the removal of select content.” The earliest tweet we could find goes back to June 28, 2022.

Original story follows.

Something strange is going on over at HBO Max. After the news of Warner Bros. Discovery shelving DC’s upcoming straight-to-streaming Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, keen-eyed Reddit users noticed that certain Max Original films had been pulled from the service altogether. Variety confirmed the report, stating that at least six films made and released exclusively on the streaming service were recently pulled from HBO Max without the company mentioning it in its monthly reports of films leaving the service. (While movies coming and going on streaming services is common, quietly removing a streamer’s own original content is not.) The six films in question are the Lana Condor– and Cole Sprouse–starring Moonshot, Robert Zemeckis’s remake of The Witches starring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer, Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle, Superintelligence with Melissa McCarthy, Doug Liman’s COVID flick Locked Down with Anne Hathaway (what’s Warner Bros’ beef here?! Kidding … maybe) and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and lastly, director Angel Manuel Soto’s Charm City Kings. Meanwhile, LeBron James’s reboot of House Party was scheduled for a July 28 release and now is absent from the calendar entirely. The films, except LeBron’s, are available for purchase or rent on VOD platforms.

While Warner Bros. Discovery has not commented on the situation — we have yet to receive a response of our own — the news comes ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Thursday, August 4. In a June 2022 issue of Buffering, Josef Adalian wrote that while HBO Max has been thriving, and the service is No. 1 on Vulture’s streamer power rankings(!), the second half of the year will be “anything but stable” as new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav continues to lead the company into new ventures, preferably ones that involve making movies for the big screen. Per Buffering, the word is that he feels future “movies on the Made for Max slate should now come in with a budget under $35 million.” Variety did state that the removal of the service’s six Max Originals was an effort to “cut costs” by axing less-popular streaming titles — after publishing a separate report claiming an insider’s reasoning for Batgirl being shelved was “taxes. Looks like HBO Max’s year of instability starts now.


See All
HBO Max Is Still Taking Stuff Down Without Warning