The Discovery-Warner Bros. deal has been a bloody affair. After merging with a movie studio known for producing movies, Discovery has seemingly realized that it’s not interested in anything with a script, and movies typically have scripts. Unless the property can be reformatted into a reality show where desperate, lonely people marry strangers for green cards, it seems they’re really not interested in anything.
Case in point: Bad Robot, the production studio led by Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lost director J.J. Abrams, might be next on the chopping block. Per Deadline, Abrams’ upcoming sci-fi drama series, Demimonde, which was given a straight-to-series order by HBO four years ago, is under scrutiny along with the rest of Bad Robot’s overall deal with WB.
Way back in the halcyon days of 2019, Bad Robot entered a massive deal with Warner Bros., valued at $250 million and it included “a big overhead and a lot of built-in straight-to-series pickups [and] pictures that come with guaranteed pay and deficit financing.” According to Deadline, Abrams is currently in talks with the faceless conglomerate about its needs for quicker, cheaper content to fill out its growing portfolio of lousy streaming services.
The Discovery merger has cost Warner Bros. a slew of scripted shows, including all scripted-TV development at [sigh] “The TNets” (the unfortunate group name for TNT, TBS, and TruTV) and a number of high-profile cancelations at the CW. Bad Robot previously produced Westworld, a consistent hit for HBO—well, at least the first-half of each season has been a hit for HBO. Bad Robot also has a Jennifer Garner-led TV series, My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, coming to Apple TV+ and an Elizabeth Taylor docuseries for HBO on the way.
Demimonde would’ve been Abrams’ first solo TV creation since Alias. It follows a woman, separated from her family after a scientific accident goes wrong, traveling as she uncovers a conspiracy that will reunite her with her family on a “distant, dark world.” Maybe Abrams can refashion that into a 90 Day spin-off, so that it can be added to a new vertical on Discovery+ entitled “Multiverse Marriages.”