Does Warner Brothers Discovery really want to own its new TV networks? Discovery Networks has done a wonderful job of building up a roster of reality shows, lifestyle shows and more as evidenced by the popularity of its own streaming service, Discovery+. But it has not been in the business of developing signature scripted content. The question is, will the new company allow those who do know that side of the business to continue their work?
Within days of completing the merger between Warner Media and Discovery Networks to form the new company new CEO David Zaslav announced he plans 3 billion dollars in cuts. There have been multiple announcements about show cancelations and disinterest in spending big on original content. We have to ask, exactly why did Discovery Networks want to buy Warner media in the first place? Some of the announcements concerning content on the WBD family of networks include:
No New Shows For TBS and TNT
We do not know if any major projects were in the work at TBS and TNT but if they were, they will not happen. Nor will anything else apparently. Within the two networks, there is a mixed bag of six current original series Snowpiercer, Animal Kingdom (Which was scheduled to end) The Last OG (Cancelled in December ahead of the Merger), Miracle Workers (will be back for another season), Chad (which had its premiere delayed before the merger), and American Dad! (which has become a very popular show). So it seems that Turner was already cleaning house with its slate of originals before the merger but if WBD’s announcement actually means that TBS and TNT will be getting out of the original productions business altogether that would be a big shift.
What does it mean? Does it mean that HBO/HBO Max will be the home of new content while the two basic cable networks will concentrate on other things? Does it mean that Snow Piercer is going to end before the poor souls ever get off the train?
CNN+ Shut Down
CNN+ was likely a mistake in the first place, but the shutdown before it was a month old was a rough move from the new owners. Would CNN+ have picked up a big audience if it had been able to stay afloat? The numbers do not really look like they were going in that direction. It is expected that CNN will play a role in the eventual app that will combine Discovery+ and HBO Max. It should be noted that Peacock recently put a ton of MDNBC content on the streamer. Maybe WBD has something like that in mind.
CW Shows Cancelled
Batwoman and The Legends Of Tomorrow have been canceled. The CW built part of its reputation as the home for DC Comics-based TV shows which would debut on the OTA network and often be streamed via its free app or even later via Netflix. When HBO Max launched the face of DC Comics TV shows changed with new CW shows set to stream on the premium streaming app instead of Netflix, and the shuttering of the DC Universe streaming service, which moved originals like Titans and The Doom Patrol to HBO Max along with Star Girl which was also available on the CW. There is news that Warner Brothers and CBS which co-owned the CW plan to sell the network. So seeing that the company decided to end projects that would later appear on another company’s platform again is logical. But at the same time, there has been no announcement as to if the shows will find another home on a cooperate-owned property.
WBD Not Investing As Much Into Original Content As Competition