Pending streaming service HBO Max has secured the exclusive streaming rights to BBC’s longest-running global franchise, “Doctor Who.” All 11 seasons of the modern version of the British sci-fi hit drama will be available on WarnerMedia’s SVOD service at launch in spring 2020.
As part of HBO Max’s new long-term deal with BBC Studios, the streamer will also be the exclusive SVOD home for future seasons after they air on BBC America.
In addition to “Doctor Who,” HBO Max has licensed 700 episodes of iconic BBC series such as “The Office,” “Top Gear,” “Luther” and “The Honorable Woman.”
“‘Doctor Who’ is one of television’s all-time, most beloved series, on both sides of the pond, and we are happy to be the exclusive streaming stewards for this BBC gem” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TNT, TBS, and truTV. “Another series to further define the high-quality content experience consumers can expect from HBO Max.”
“As any ‘Doctor Who’ fan knows, the iconic TARDIS [fictional time machine] is ‘bigger on the inside’ — and it’s a good thing because the TARDIS is about to welcome a whole new slew of fans coming to the show through this deal with HBO Max,” said Nigel Gaines, interim president, BBC Studios — Americas. “HBO Max’s ambitious content line-up is the perfect complement to the ‘Doctor Who’ global franchise, in addition to some of our most award-winning and game-changing U.K. dramas and comedies.”
“‘Doctor Who’ is a program like no other — an incredibly rich world of stories, packed with adventure, regeneration, heart (two actually) and hope. Our audience is incredibly dedicated and engaged, and we can’t wait to work with HBO Max to tell our stories from across all of time and space,” said Sally de St Croix, “Doctor Who” global franchise director.
The BBC deal also includes original British television mockumentary “The Office,” created, written and directed by Golden Globe and Emmy winners Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The show follows the day-to-day lives of office employees of the fictional Wernham Hogg paper company. The deal includes two seasons and two specials.
Long running car show “Top Gear” featuring several seasons with original hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May plus the most recent casts including Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff. The deal includes multiple seasons.
British crime drama “Luther” stars Idris Elba as Detective John Luther working for the Serious Crime Unit who becomes consumed by the crimes he investigates. Created and written by Neil Cross, the series has received eleven Primetime Emmy Award nominations with Elba also receiving a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Television Award, NAACP Image Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance. Deal includes all five seasons.
Nine-part mini-series “The Honorable Woman” centers on Nessa Stein, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who inherits her father’s arms business and finds herself in an international maelstrom as she continues to promote the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. It was created, written and directed by Hugo Blick.
The deal also includes new titles “Pure”, “Trigonometry”, “Stath Lets Flats”, “Home” and “Ghosts” which will all be available exclusively to HBO Max upon launch of the service.
All of these shows join HBO Max’s library, which is anticipated to boast 10,000 hours of programming at launch, including key licensed third-party programming and a rich array of content that brings the HBO service together with WarnerMedia’s portfolio of powerful brands: Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Hello Sunshine, Looney Tunes and more.
In addition to HBO Max’s vast selection of beloved library titles, the service will also feature the entire HBO library of hits including fan favorites “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “Veep” and “Game of Thrones,” as well as previously announced acquisitions “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Pretty Little Liars” and all 236 episodes of“Friends.”
HBO Max will also be the exclusive out-of-season streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros. produced dramas for The CW, including the highly-anticipated new DC series “Batwoman” and “Katy Keene” (a spinoff of “Riverdale”). The streamer will also be home to the critically acclaimed DC series “Doom Patrol,” with the first-season available at launch and new episodes set to debut simultaneously on DC Universe and HBO Max.
The SVOD is also developing a strong originals slate with film and television projects geared toward all audience segments in the home.