As it continues its attempts to recoup the $3.4 billion in losses from last quarter, Warner Bros. Discovery has been doing everything from scrapping finished movies to coining new stereotypes like “women like genredoms.” While those were all upsetting to many, particularly the people working on that Batgirl movie we’ll never get to see, this week sees more heartbreak. Warners is laying off 14% of HBO’s staff, around 70 employees, in restructuring the premium cable network and streaming service.
The move is in service of merging HBO and HBO Max into one thing and HBO Max and Discovery+ into another. Having already killed scripted content at TNT, TBS, and TruTV, Warner Bros. Discovery is merging HBO and HBO Max comedy under one roof. As Variety’s note, “the comedy sensibility was much closer in line with each other.” However, this is not true for drama, which will continue in separate functions on the network, with HBO originals and Max originals remaining independent entities. Meanwhile, the company’s reality television department and live-action family originals will continue in a “limited” capacity, which explains the Gordita Chronicles cancelation.
Variety reports that reality shows on HBO Max, like FBoy Island, “will continue to run” but will be under the purview of Discovery, which has far more experience churning out reality shows you can scroll through your phone during. However, where that leaves Nathan Fielder’s reality-bending series, The Rehearsal, probably depends on the last episode when we find out whether or not this show was reality-based to begin with.
Pretty much all of this was expected by insiders, experts, and, well, anyone with an internet connection. Unfortunately, the state of Warner Bros. Discovery is grim, with the network seemingly looking to undo all the goodwill it earned by producing shows that people actually liked. Who knows when the next shoe will drop, but when it does, it’ll probably have something to do with Ezra Miller.