NEW YORK — HBO Max is scaling back its streaming catalog in the wake of the merger with Discovery, with 200 classic episodes of "Sesame Street" among 36 titles getting the ax this week.
The content purge is the latest in a series of cost-cutting moves by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, which is preparing to merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into one platform sometime next year.
There were still 456 episodes of "Sesame Street" still on HBO Max as of Friday, according to Variety, with the full lineup of seasons 39-52 and a selection from earlier seasons.
HBO first partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces "Sesame Street," in 2015, which provided the show with a much-needed cash boost while securing HBO the rights to run new episodes of the long-running series before they air on PBS. The current agreement keeps new "Sesame Street" seasons first-run on HBO Max through 2025, Variety reports.
The titles being removed from the streaming service include 20 original HBO Max shows, according to Variety, much of it family or children's content.
Among the cuts are several "Sesame Street" spinoffs and specials like "The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo," kids' show "Summer Camp Island," teen drama "Generation" and animated anthology series "Infinity Train."
Warner Bros. Discovery has made clear that family-oriented content would not be a focus for the short-term future as the companies complete their merger. The company's CFO said on an earnings call that kids and animation content would be cut “without an adequate investment case against them," Deadline reported.
Cutting these titles allows the company to save "tens of millions of dollars" on residuals, CNBC reported.
Warner Bros. also made headlines earlier this month when it stunned Hollywood by announcing it would not release the “Batgirl” film planned for HBO Max, instead opting to shelve the $90 million project without a release.
Here are the titles leaving HBO Max:
- 12 Dates of Christmas
- About Last Night
- Aquaman: King of Atlantis
- Close Enough
- Detention Adventure
- Ellen's Next Great Designer
- Elliott From Earth
- Esme & Roy
- The Fungies!
- Generation Hustle
- Infinity Train
- Little Ellen
- Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart
- Messy Goes to Okido
- Mia's Magic Playground
- Mighty Magiswords
- My Dinner with Herve
- My Mom, Your Dad
- OK K.O.! - Let's Be Heroes
- The Ollie & Moon Show
- Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
- 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
- Tig n' Seek
- Uncle Grandpa
- Victor and Valentino
- Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs