HBO Max Acquires Rights to Peabody Award–Winning Drama ‘David Makes Man’

The first season of Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and Warner Horizon Scripted Television’s Peabody Award-winning series “David Makes Man,” a one-hour drama created by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Tony Award-nominated playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), will be available to stream on HBO Max starting July 16.

The series centers on David, a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied upon by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty. He must choose between the streets that raised him or the higher education that may offer him a way out. Set in South Florida, the series is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life and explores childhood trauma and the power of imagination to survive.

In addition to the winning the Peabody Award, the first season of “David Makes Man” received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Drama, a prestigious Gotham Award nomination, and was named to several critics’ year-end “best of television” lists for 2019. The show has been renewed for a second season by OWN.

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Akili McDowell (“Billions,” “The Astronaut Wives Club”) stars in the title role of David alongside Alana Arenas (“Head of Passes”), Isaiah Johnson (“Hamilton”), Ade Chike Torbert (“East Los High”), Travis Coles (“Liza on Demand”), Cayden K. Williams (“Girls Trip”), Nathaniel Logan McIntyre (“Magic Camp”), Jordan Bolger (“Peaky Blinders”), with Emmy nominee/Tony winner Phylicia Rashad (Creed films, “Empire,” “The Cosby Show”). Tony winner and Emmy/Golden Globe nominee Ruben Santiago-Hudson (“Lackawanna Blues,” “The Quad,” “Billions”), Elvis Nolasco (“American Crime”), Gillian Williams (The Girlfriend Experience), Juanita Jennings (Star), Liza Colón-Zayas (Proven Innocent), Lindsey Blackwell (“Step Sisters”), Lela Rochon (Training Day), Teshi Thomas (“Raven’s Home”) and Nick Creegan all appear in recurring roles.

Discovery Returns to Profitability Following $15B Scripps Networks Purchase

Discovery Feb. 26 reported fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) net income of $265 million following a net loss of $1.1 billion during the previous-year period. Revenue increased 51% to $2.8 billion from $1.85 billion a year earlier.

Spearheading the turnaround was last March’s $15 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks, including coveted brands HGTV, DIY Network, ID, TLC, Animal Planet and Food Network. Discovery also owns stakes in MotorTrend Group and Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

For the fiscal year, net income reached $594 million compared to a $337 million loss in the previous year. Revenue increased 54% to $10.6 billion from $6.9 billion.

Discovery has also invested hundreds of millions in sports programming in Europe, including Olympics rights and an over-the-top video deal for the PGA European Tour.

It also inked exclusive pay-TV and streaming deals with Chip and Joanna Gaines, the husband and wife team behind the hugely successful “Fixer Upper” franchise, and Christina El Moussa, the prettier half of the now-divorced from “Flip or Flop” husband/co-star Tarek El Moussa.

“2018 was a transformational year for Discovery, highlighted by our operational accomplishments, our strong progress in synergy generation and our overall solid financial performance, as we continued powering people’s passions around the world,” CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. “Discovery is a differentiated global content company, and we are optimistic that we will continue to build on all of our operating momentum to drive additional shareholder value into the future.”