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HBO Max's Green Lantern tops a clutch of big bets on DC shows

HBO Max is also packed with Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Studio Ghibli anime movies, as well as projects from J.J. Abrams, Elizabeth Banks, Issa Rae, Mindy Kaling and Greg Berlanti.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
3 min read

HBO Max will become the streaming home to South Park. 

Courtesy of HBO Max

Disney Plus may have Marvel, but HBO Max is banking on the comics characters of DC to help lure in subscribers to the coming streaming service from AT&T's WarnerMedia -- including what one creator predicts will be the "biggest DC show ever made."

Among the new DC series: 

  • A secretive Green Lantern series that producer Greg Berlanti (a young-adult TV guru behind Riverdale and Arrow) says will travel to space and "promises to be our biggest DC show ever made." 
  • Strange Adventures, a one-hour drama anthology series also produced by Berlanti that explores the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans.
  • DC Super Hero High will be a half-hour comedy Elizabeth Banks, the producer and actress known for the Hunger Games films and 30 Rock, that will focus on a group of adolescent students at a boarding school for "gifted" kids.

The details were revealed Tuesday at WarnerMedia's investor day dedicated to unveiling HBO Max. WarnerMedia is also expected to fill in blanks like the launch date and price for the service, as well as details about the TV future of the Game of Thrones franchise. The company also revealed plans for half-hour comedies from other top-flight actresses/producers Mindy Kaling and Issa Rae. Rae's Rap Sh*t follows a female rap group outside Miami, and Kaling's College Girls tracks three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore College in Vermont.

HBO Max, the new HBO-anchored streaming service coming from AT&T's WarnerMedia, will not only stream all 23 season of Comedy Central's animated satire South Park -- it will also be the place to stream new episodes of South Park 24 hours after they air on Comedy Central for the next three seasons. According to an earlier report, WarnerMedia's deal for South Park may have been worth as much as $500 million

"South Park is unequivocally among the best -- setting the satirical gold standard, with a consistent finger on the comedy pulse," Kevin Reilly, HBO Max's chief content officer, said in a release Tuesday. The company said South Park would anchor HBO Max's young adult animation offerings, which will also include Adult Swim series like The Boondock and Robot Chicken and anime programming from Crunchyroll. 

HBO Max's animation library also has exclusive US streaming rights to beloved anime films from Studio Ghibli, Japan's Oscar-winning animation house founded by Hayao Miyazaki

As far as kids and family animation goes, HBO Max will have new Looney Tunes cartoons and a new Jellystone series with the classic Hanna-Barbera characters from Warner Bros Animation. It's developing a new animated series from Cartoon Network Studios called The Fungies and Tig N'Seek from Cartoon Network Studios, as well as a hybrid live-action/animated comedy Tooned Out from Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis. That's in addition to a library of classics cartoons from Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies and Hanna-Barbera.

In another animation library win, HBO Max will also have all three seasons of Rick and Morty that have aired so far as part of its streaming service at launch in the US. 

In comedy, Conan O'Brien and the team behind his TBS show will be developing five stand-up specials for HBO Max. O'Brien will host two specials that feature short sets from multiple up-and-coming comics and curate hour-long sets from three comedians. That slate will join another one-hour special from comedian James Veitch.

Watch this: AT&T will come out with yet another streaming service

HBO Max will be AT&T's combatant in the so-called streaming wars. With a big library of licensed shows and a slate of originals, it will be taking on Netflix, the dominant force in streaming with more than 150 million subscribers worldwide, as well as a crop of new streaming services launching in the next six months. Apple TV Plus goes live with nine titles Friday, followed quickly by Disney's high-profile offering, Disney Plus, on Nov. 12. NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service, is expected to go head-to-head with HBO Max early next year.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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