Westworld was taken off HBO Max earlier this week, along with several other shows like Raised by Wolves and The Nevers, but they won’t be gone forever. Instead, these series will be licensed to different streaming services, with a particular emphasis on the free ones like The Roku Channel or Freevee, according to HBO parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.
These streaming services, referred to in the industry as FAST (“free ad-supported streaming television”) services, allow users to watch movies and shows without subscription fees. With smaller budgets for original content, products like Freevee, Roku Channel, Tubi, and Pluto TV often rely on licensing deals from other production companies, which is a niche that Warner Bros. Discovery is hoping it can fill with the shows it’s removed from its own service.
Of course, for anyone paying attention, this is all part of a larger cost-cutting plan for Warner Bros. Discovery that has been playing out over the last several months. The fever around shaving off expenses started when Warner Bros. merged with Discovery and CEO David Zaslav took over. Under Zaslav’s watch, Warner has canceled long-in-development projects like Batgirl, brought in James Gunn and Peter Safran as the studio’s new heads of the DC Universe, and removed many series and movies from HBO Max in order to license them later or just cut down residuals and overhead.
Here’s a full list of the things removed in HBO Max’s latest culling, which according to the company will reappear on FAST platforms in the future:
- The Nevers
- Raised By Wolves,
- FBoy Island
- Finding Magic Mike
- Head of the Class
- The Time Traveler’s Wife
Warner Bros. Discovery has not yet announced which platforms these series will be moving to or when they might be available to watch again.
Update (Feb. 1): Many of the free shows leaving HBO Max including Westworld, The Bachelor, Cake Boss, Say Yes to the Dress, F-Boy Island, and Raised by Wolves will move to a new free streaming services that will be created in partnership with both Tubi and The Roku Channel. In all, Tubi will launch 14 WB-branded channels which will include 225 total titles.