In the latest consolidation move within WarnerMedia’s TV operations, Adult Swim and HBO Max’s adult animation development teams are being combined into one, led by Suzanna Makkos. Previously EVP Original Comedy and Animation for HBO Max, Makkos is taking an expanded role as EVP Original Comedy and Animation for HBO Max and Adult Swim.
She will continue to report to Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max’s head of original content, and will now also report to Adult Swim president Michael Ouweleen on all content developed for Adult Swim on all platforms. Adult Swim’s development team, led by SVP Walter Newman, will now report into Makkos.
“The adult animation boom is just starting, and by aligning our strengths and organizing as one, unified, best-in-class development team we are creating an unmatched, multiplatform destination for both creators and fans,” said Aubrey. “Adult Swim has created an iconoclastic adult animation brand, and that identity will not only be preserved, it will now be further fueled by HBO Max and Suzanna’s talented development leadership.”
Added Ouweleen, “Adult Swim has been the No. 1 destination for young adult audiences for more than 15 years and now merging the two best development teams in this business puts Adult Swim at the heart of our company’s future and further strengthens WarnerMedia as the global leader in adult animation. Walter and the Adult Swim team’s genre-defining work, now under Suzanna’s seasoned expertise, will propel Adult Swim’s development process as we continue to push new boundaries and reach new audiences.”
Launched in 2001, Adult Swim is behind Emmy-winning adult animated series such as global phenomenon Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, as well as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse, Final Space, YOLO: Crystal Fantasy and more. Toonami, Adult Swim’s popular weekly anime programming block, features the best of the genre and originals such as FLCL, Uzumaki, Shenmue and Fena: Pirate Princess as well as the upcoming Blade Runner: Black Lotus.
“It is a true honor to become a steward of this cherished brand. I have long admired Adult Swim’s dedication to animation’s potential for storytelling and to creating truly original content that puts the fans first,” said Makkos. “I am excited to work with Walter and his talented team as we enter the next chapter!”
As part of a ramp-up in adult animation, HBO Max in February announced orders for three new original adult animated series: the Scooby-Doo spinoff Velma, a reboot of the vintage MTV show Clone High, and workplace comedy Fired On Mars. The streamer also recently renewed Close Enough by J.G. Quintel for two additional seasons. HBO Max’s original adult animation slate also includes Harley Quinn and the upcoming The Prince, Santa Inc., 10-Year-Old-Tom, and the reboot of the Peabody-winning series The Boondocks, which originally ran on Adult Swim.
Additionally, Adult Swim’s staple Rick and Morty is one of the anchor library titles on HBO Max, which carries the show’s previous seasons.
Prior to joining WarnerMedia in 2019, Makkos spent 20 years at Fox Broadcasting, where she was most recently EVP Comedy Programming & Development, running the network’s comedy department. She oversaw such series as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, The Last Man on Earth and The Mindy Project, as well as animated hits Bob’s Burgers, Great North, Son of Zorn, Duncanville and Bordertown.