Series Mania: HBO and Warner Bros. Discovery working together as ‘one team’

Casey Bloys

HBO CEO, Casey Bloys

HBO’s CEO Casey Bloys described its partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery as “very coordinated” as the pair tackle “programming investment across the globe as one team”.

At a keynote session in Series Mania located in Lille, Bloys briefly touched on the media groups’ working relationship following the merger last year.

The HBO boss explained that prior to the merger communication about programming between the two entities was minimal.

“It was very separate. The domestic operations and international operation didn’t have a lot of contact regarding programming,” he said. “For HBO, we’ve produced all over the world, with Discovery having a huge international operation, so bringing them together is one of the things that we wanted to do.”

Moving forward, the companies are working more closely together on “where are we putting our bets, in what shows”, which he noted delivers “a better result that way.”

Bloys explained the company’s mission to achieve a global success like Netflix’s Korean original Squid Game. The survival thriller series was watched by 111 million global accounts in its first 17 days of availability, according to Netflix.

He said, “The best-case scenario is something like a Squid Game where a series is produced for a local original and solely for local version, not trying to be anything else, but servicing the market that it’s in. If something like that can break out? That’s great, though I think it’s hard.”

“It’s very hard to engineer any hit show, but to then engineer something that works in this market, but also travels is even harder,” Bloys added.

He pointed to HBO’s dramas like House of the Dragon and The Last of Us achieving this but added, “American shows that tend to travel are tentpole shows, not the comedies.”

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