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SkyShowtime acquires raft of HBO Max shows

SkyShowtime, the recently launched Comcast and Paramount joint-streamer, has acquired 21 former HBO Max European originals in a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD).

Monty Sarhan

The service has picked up exclusive European rights to 168 episodes – more than 150 hours in total – of both new, unaired shows and programming that previously premiered on HBO Max. These include titles such as Kamikaze and Lust, which were pulled as part of WBD’s cost-cutting measures. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SkyShowtime said it has the option to acquire worldwide rights on any renewed shows and to order new seasons for several shows, potentially offering hope of revival for titles previously canned by WBD. TBI has reached out for further clarification on these points.

SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan described the agreement as a “landmark deal for SkyShowtime, giving us an immediate foothold in the original programming space well ahead of plan.”

Among the package are three new titles, which will be branded as SkyShowtime Originals: six-part Finnish crime series ID (working title), about an undercover art fraud investigator; The Winner, a six-part Czech and Slovakian family comedy about a fictional Prime Minister who returns to everyday life; and Warszawianka, an 11-part Polish drama following the tragicomic adventures of a 40-year-old ‘urban legend’ in Warsaw.

SkyShowtime will also premiere the eight-part second season of Spanish comedy series Por H o Por B, with the first season, which launched on HBO España in 2020, also being added to the streamer.

Swedish drama Beartown, both seasons of Norewgian comedy sci-fi Beforeigners, Danish drama Kamikaze, Swedish comedy Lust and Hungarian drama The Informant are also headed to SkyShowtime. These shows were pulled from HBO Max last year and were among the first casualties of WBD’s efforts to make “synergy” savings of around $3.5bn, which has also resulted in thousands of staff exits and content write-offs.

The other shows picked up by SkyShowtime in the deal include Czech shows Czech It Out! and The Sleepers; Spanish titles Foodie LoveNo Activity and Todo Lo Otro; Romanian series HackervilleTuff Money, Ruxx and One True Singer; Sweden’s Pray, Obey; Croatia’s Success and Norway’s Welcome to Utmark.

Last month, WBD indicated that it was planning to sell content removed from HBO Max to third-party FAST services, and was preparing packages for sale including more recently cancelled titles such as Raised By WolvesHead Of The Class and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

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