With more financial resources from their new corporate parents at AT&T, HBO executives ramped up production to 150 hours of original programming for 2019, 50% more than 2018. Because of the rapid expansion, the premium network cannot fit all shows on its signature night of original series, Sunday, and it is opening a new night of programming on Monday in May with limited series Chernobyl.
But unlike Netflix, whose programming slate keeps rapidly expanding, the 50% jump in volume was more of a one-time thing for HBO and not part of a continuous accelerated growth.
“I think beyond that, if it goes up, it will be determined by: are the shows good, do they reach our standard of quality, are they out there,” HBO Programming President Casey Bloys told Deadline at TCA. A lot will be determined by that, so we will have to play it by year. I don’t see a world where we go to (230) hours; I don’t think so.”
HBO brass had previously said that the additional funds would allow them to not say “no” to any project they don’t want to say “no” to but they don’t want to go beyond that and order series for the sake of volume and without regard for maintaining the level of quality.