HBO Max is set to stream The West Wing when the service launches next year. Bob Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, revealed that the Martin Sheen-fronted political drama will be the latest high-profile series to move to the streaming service. It currently airs on Netflix in the U.S.
The Aaron Sorkin-created series ran from September 1999-May 2006 on NBC with over 150 episodes. It won the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy for each of its first four seasons from 2000-03.
Greenblatt, speaking at a Mipcom keynote in Cannes, said that mining the Warner Bros library for titles for the service was a big part of the HBO Max plan.
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“We know people come to these platforms for different reasons,” he said.
“Acquisitions are a great driver. We are looking at acquiring shows and mining our library — there’s thousands of titles in those libraries.”
Greenblatt also addressed a raft of other topics during the keynote address, including ramping up volume on HBO and revealed that there are set to be more announcements imminently on shows in the DC Universe from Greg Berlanti.
He said launching HBO Max was a “huge challenge” but that creatives were “very excited to come over to our new platform.” He said more details will be unveiled at the end of October.
Greenblatt also addressed worries that HBO was spreading itself too thin by ramping up programming.
“HBO is the great brand of all time in our opinion,” he said. “People know it for its excellence. This year alone has been another extraordinary year, so there’s no plans to do anything but to keep that intact. The shows are made very carefully. There’s a certain number that is comfortable and we’re increasing slightly, but nothing to be alarmed about. To build the new platform, we’re adding new programming. We’re not taxing HBO to do anything other than what they do. It’s not going to be significant.”
Greenblatt also added that the company is open to buying more shows from the international community. “On many streaming platforms, there is great international programming that five years ago would have bene unheard of. Now the world is really become global and we see the great shows around the world, and we’re wide open to putting those shows on HBO. We’re wide open to bringing more of those shows to HBO Max. We’ve seen on Netflix and Amazon extraordinary shows from Israel and Russia, and we’d love to have some of those as well,” he added.
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