HBO reveals first looks at ‘True Detective,’ ‘The Regime,’ ‘The Penguin,’ greenlight on ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel and new Max logo
After the rather announcement yesterday that HBO Max would be changing its name to simply Max, and incorporating Discovery+ content post-merger, HBO and Max news revealed a ton of teasers, announcements and need to knows about upcoming programs during Warner Bros. Discovery’s unveiling of the Max streaming service on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles, including the new season of True Detective starring two-time Academy Award winner and Emmy Award nominee Jodie Foster, The Regime (formerly titled The Palace), starring Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Kate Winslet, The Sympathizer, from Park Chan-wook and Don McKellar and starring Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr., The Penguin, starring Academy Award nominee Colin Farrell and a greenlight to another Game of Thrones prequel and a decade-long series that will cover the entire Harry Potter book franchise.
The announcement today was revealed during Warner Bros. Discovery’s unveiling of the Max streaming service on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles and presided over by WBD CEO David Zaslav, president and CEO of global streaming and games JB Perrette, HBO and HBO Max CEO and chairman Casey Bloys. Warner Bros. Discovery also introduced Max, its enhanced streaming service, which will launch in the U.S. on May 23. More details on that below.
Here’s what’s coming up across HBO, Max, Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, Cartoon Network and more.
TRUE DETECTIVE: NIGHT COUNTRY (Limited Series)
HBO has released the official teaser for the original drama series True Detective: Night Country, starring Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, Fiona Shaw, Finn Bennett, Isabella Star Lablanc, Aka Niviâna, Anna Lambe, and Joel D. Montgrand with Christopher Eccleston, and John Hawkes. Issa López serves as showrunner and writer and directs all episodes.
This new season takes place in Ennis, Alaska, where eight men who operate the Tsalal Arctic Research Station vanish without a trace. To solve the case, Detectives Liz Danvers (Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Reis) will have to confront the darkness they carry in themselves, and dig into the haunted truths that lie buried under the eternal ice.
Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski, and Mark Ceryak executive produce for PASTEL with executive producers Mari Jo Winkler, Chris Mundy, Alan Page Arriaga, Steve Golin, Richard Brown, Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Nic Pizzolatto, and producers Princess Daazhraii Johnson, Cathy Tagnak Rexford and Sam Breckman.
THE REGIME (Limited Series)
HBO has released the official teaser for the limited series The Regime (formerly known by its working title The Palace), starring Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet, directed by Stephen Frears and Jessica Hobbs, and written by Will Tracy. The series premieres in 2024.
The Regime tells the satrical story of one year within the walls of the palace of a modern European regime as it begins to unravel.
The limited series also stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Guillaume Gallienne, Academy Award nominee Andrea Riseborough, Emmy Award nominee Martha Plimpton and Emmy Award nominee Hugh Grant, plus Danny Webb, David Bamber, Henry Goodman, Stanley Townsend, Louie Mynett, Rory Keenan, Karl Markovics, and Pippa Haywood.
Will Tracy serves as writer, executive producer, and showrunner. Executive producers are Winslet, Frears, Frank Rich, and Tracey Seaward. Hobbs serves as co-executive producer and writers are Seth Reiss, Juli Weiner, Jen Spyra, Gary Shteyngart, and Sarah DeLappe.
THE PENGUIN (Series)
Max has released first look footage and an image of the series, officially titled The Penguin from Warner Bros. Television and DC Studios. Starring Academy Award nominee Colin Farrell as The Penguin, the eight-episode DC Studios drama series continues The Batman epic crime saga that filmmaker Matt Reeves began with Warner Bros. Pictures’ global blockbuster The Batman, and centers on the character played by Farrell in the film.
The cast also stars Cristin Milioti, Rhenzy Feliz, Emmy Award nominee Michael Kelly, Academy Award nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo and Deirdre O’Connell, with Clancy Brown and Michael Zegen recurring.
The series is executive produced by Matt Reeves, Dylan Clark, Colin Farrell, Lauren LeFranc, who writes and serves as showrunner, Craig Zobel, who directs the first three episodes, and Bill Carraro. Based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger. It is produced by Reeves’ 6th & Idaho Productions and Dylan Clark Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, where Reeves and 6th & Idaho are under an overall deal. 6th & Idaho’s Daniel Pipski also serves as executive producer and Rafi Crohn is co-executive producer.
THE SYMPATHIZER (Limited Series)
HBO has released the official teaser and a new photo for the original limited series The Sympathizer from Park Chan-wook and Don McKellar, who co-showrun and executive produce. The new footage introduces the cast led by Hoa Xuande, Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Ky Duyen, and Emmy Award nominee Sandra Oh and reveals star and executive producer Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr., who plays multiple roles. The series premieres in 2024.
Based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, The Sympathizer is an espionage thriller and cross-culture satire about the struggles of a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy during the final days of the Vietnam War and his resulting exile in the United States.
A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS: THE HEDGE KNIGHT (Series)
HBO has given a series order to drama series A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, a Game of Thrones prequel series will be written and executive produced by George R.R. Martin and Ira Parker. Ryan Condal and Vince Gerardis will also executive produce.
A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.
George R.R. Martin will serve as writer/executive producer, Ira Parker will serve as writer/executive producer. Ryan Condal and Vince Gerardis will serve as executive producers.
THE BIG BANG THEORY Project (Series)
Max and executive producer Chuck Lorre are developing a new comedy series derived from The Big Bang Theory. The project is in the works at Warner Bros. Television, where Lorre is under an overall deal.
Plot details are currently under wraps. Lorre will executive produce via Chuck Lorre Productions. The new show would be the second collaboration between Max, Lorre, and WBTV. Lorre and Nick Bakay are currently in production on the new Max Original comedy series How to Be a Bookie, starring Sebastian Maniscalco.
This would mark the second series derived from the world of The Big Bang Theory, following the prequel Young Sheldon, which begins with Iain Armitage starring as The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper as a nine-year-old, living with his family in East Texas and going to high school.
SMARTLESS: ON THE ROAD
Max has released the first official trailer for Max Original SmartLess: On the Road, debuting Tuesday, May 23, following Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes during the North American tour of their hit podcast. Directed by Sam Jones (Jason Isbell: Running With Our Eyes Closed, Off Camera with Sam Jones), the six-part docuseries provides fly-on-the-wall, intimate access of the three friends and beloved actors as they travel through Boston, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Madison, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles, giving viewers a sneak peek into the minds, conversations, and bonds behind one of the country’s most popular podcasts.
In each episode of SmartLess, one of the hosts reveals his mystery guest to the other two. What ensues is a genuinely improvised and authentic conversation filled with laughter and newfound knowledge to feed the SmartLess mind. The passion project of three friends has turned into a wildly successful podcast, named one of the Best Shows of 2020 by Apple as well as consistently ranking Top 5 Comedy Shows and Top 10 on overall shows on iTunes. SmartLess is produced by Michael Grant Terry, Bennett Barbakow, and Rob Amjärv.
THE CONJURING (Series)
Max is currently developing a drama series based on the films in New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring Universe, it was announced today exclusively during Warner Bros. Discovery’s unveiling of the Max streaming service on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. The Conjuring producer Peter Safran will serve as an executive producer on the project, which is in development at Warner Bros. Television. Filmmaker James Wan is in talks to executive produce.
HARRY POTTER (Series)
A new Max Original series that will be a faithful adaptation of the best-selling Harry Potter book series by author and executive producer, J.K. Rowling from Warner Bros. Television.
The stories from each of Rowling’s Harry Potter books will become a decade-long series produced with the same epic craft, love and care this global franchise is known for. The series will feature a new cast to lead a new generation of fandom, full of the fantastic detail, much loved characters and dramatic locations that Harry Potter fans have loved for over twenty-five years. Each season will be authentic to the original books and bring Harry Potter and these incredible adventures to new audiences around the world, while the original, classic and beloved films will remain at the core of the franchise and available to watch globally.
LOVE & TRANSLATION (Reality Series)
In TLC’s newest relationship series, Love & Translation, none of the women speak English and none of the men speak other languages. Without being able to speak to one another and without the use of translators, the singles need to count on their senses to help develop their connection and determine the power of their chemistry and attraction. Based on what they learn about each other, the men will take the women on dates and find out how love translates when the same language isn’t spoken – will they find true love or just a hot romance? Love & Translation will premiere this coming winter on TLC.
SURVIVE THE RAFT (Reality Series)
From Discovery Channel, Survive the Raft is a series that explores what happens when strangers from all walks of life come together to live and work at sea. The nine-episode social experiment was inspired by Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés’ 1973 behavioral study that observed whether humans from diverse cultures and backgrounds could set aside their differences and work together during a 101-day voyage on the Acali. Now, fifty years later, Discovery Channel revisits his groundbreaking work with a new raft and a new twist on the original mission. Hosted by United States Army Green Beret, NFL football player and actor, Nate Boyer, the series is slated to premiere in July on Discovery Channel and Max.
FIXER UPPER: THE HOTEL (Reality Series)
Magnolia Network today announced an all-new installment in the Fixer Upper franchise, Fixer Upper: The Hotel, to premiere this November. The forthcoming series documents Chip and Joanna Gaines’s most ambitious project to date – renovating a historic building in downtown Waco to open Hotel 1928, a new boutique hotel just a few blocks from Magnolia Market at the Silos. In addition, the teaser trailer was revealed today exclusively during Warner Bros. Discovery’s unveiling of the Max streaming service on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles.
BARBIE DREAMHOUSE CHALLENGE (Reality Competition Series)
Inspired by the singular, enduring popularity of the global icon herself and by the excitement surrounding the upcoming release of the Warner Bros. Pictures film, Barbie, HGTV will harness the unmatched power of its corporate siblings to support four nostalgia-filled episodes and execute Barbie-themed cross-network content and promotions. Punctuated by celebrity guests, pop culture history and a plethora of Barbie surprises, Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge will be hosted by supermodel, designer, author and entrepreneur Ashley Graham and feature eight teams of HGTV superstars as they transform a Southern California home into a real-life Barbie Dreamhouse. In the end, one passionate Barbie fan will get the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime stay in a home created for dreamers.
During the series, 15 talented HGTV home design and renovation experts and one celebrated Food Network chef will participate in the creation of Barbie’s Dreamhouse, including: Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson (Married to Real Estate); Jasmine Roth (Help! I Wrecked My House) and Antonia Lofaso (Beachside Brawl); Ty Pennington (Rock the Block) and Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab); Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin (Farmhouse Fixer); Christina Hall and James Bender (Christina on the Coast); Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas (Bargain Block); Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt (100 Day Dream Home); and Michel Smith Boyd and Anthony Elle Williams (Luxe for Less). Teams will overhaul areas of the home with an era-specific style, such as an early 1960s atomic age kitchen, a ‘70s disco vibe for Ken’s Den and a main bedroom decked out in ‘80s glam.
PETER & THE WOLF (Animated Short Film)
Max and Cartoon Network have greenlit an animated rendition of the beloved classic tale Peter & the Wolf featuring music and narration by Gavin Friday, and artwork based on original illustrations by Bono. The special transforms Sergei Prokofiev’s much-loved symphony into an enchanting and contemporary visual masterpiece that touches on themes of growing up, loss, courage, transformation, and our relationship with nature.
Featuring a special juxtaposition of traditional hand-drawn 2D animation combined with a physical set-built world, this reimagined classic tale follows a grieving 12-year-old Peter who is now in the care of his grandfather after enduring the loss of a parent. Upon hearing stories of a wolf on the loose, Peter decides to explore the vast meadow and forest nearby to try and find the wolf himself. Along the way he encounters creatures who help him on his quest while contending with hunters aiming to win a prize for capturing the wolf.
The animated short film is scheduled to premiere later this year and is part of an ongoing relationship with Irish Hospice Foundation.
GREMLINS: SECRETS OF THE MOGWAI (Animated Series)
In this new prequel series, Gremlins: Secrets of Mogwai takes viewers back to 1920s Shanghai where the Wing family first meets the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 Gremlins film) accepts the dangerous task to take Gizmo home and embarks on a journey through the Chinese countryside. Sam and Gizmo are joined by a teenage street thief named Elle, and together, they encounter—and sometimes battle—colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. Along their quest, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.
The all-star voice cast includes Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, BD Wong, Matthew Rhys, Izaac Wang, AJ LoCascio, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green. The series will also feature notable guest stars including Zach Galligan who starred as the hero “Billy Peltzer” in Amblin’s original “Gremlins” films. Additional guest voices include Sandra Oh, Randall Park, George Takei, and Bowen Yang. Premieres May 23.
Existing HBO Max subscribers will have access to Max at the same price as their HBO Max subscription and will still have access to their current plan features for a minimum of six months following launch.
Max will offer three pricing options, giving subscribers the choice to select which plan best fits the needs of their household.
- Max Ad-Lite | $9.99/month or $99.99/year
2 concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- Max Ad Free | $15.99/month or $149.99/year
2 concurrent streams, 1080 resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- Max Ultimate Ad Free | $19.99/month or $199.99/year
4 concurrent streams, up to 4K UHD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos sound quality