‘Friends’ Re-Runs Most-Popular Show on HBO Max

HBO Max is reporting that former primetime ratings winners “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory” are the No. 1 and No. 3 most popular shows among its subscribers.

The new original series “Love Life,” starring Anna Kendrick, is No. 2.

Eight HBO Max original shows (besides “Love Life”) are in the top 25 series since launch: “Doom Patrol,” “Looney Tunes Cartoons,” “The Not-to-Late Show,” “Legendary,” “Search Party,” “Close Enough” and “Expecting Amy,” among others.

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While the data is self-reported, parent WarnerMedia said other HBO originals such as “Insecure,” “Perry Mason,” “I’ll be Gone in the Dark,” and “I May Destroy You,” are tracking well on HBO Max as well.

As previously mentioned by AT&T CEO John Stankey on last week’s fiscal call, subscribers are spending 70% more time spent on Max compared to HBO Now (based on Jan. 2020 HBO Now viewership). The data would suggest it’s just a matter of time before WarnerMedia folds Now into Max — as it did with HBO Go.

WarnerMedia said the typical Max user is significantly younger than HBO subs, with 23% falling between the ages of 18 to 24. The company expects to have 50 million Max subs by 2025.

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Upcoming Max programming highlights include HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” “The Undoing,” “The Third Day,” “We Are Who We Are,” “Industry” and new seasons of “Room 104 and “His Dark Materials”; as well as upcoming Max Originals, including the feature premieres of An American Pickle, Let Them All Talk and Unpregnant; a new season of “Sesame Street”; “Raised by Wolves” and “The Flight Attendant”; international hits “Gomorrah,” “The Murders at the White House Farm,” and “Boys”; and the “Selena Gomez Cooking Show” and “Friends Reunion Special” (working titles).

‘Young Sheldon’ Season Three on Disc Sept. 1

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Young Sheldon: The Complete Third Season on DVD Sept. 1, with a Blu-ray edition arriving the same day via Warner Archive Collection.

The two-disc set includes all 21 episodes from the series, a prequel to “The Big Bang Theory” focused on super-genius Sheldon Cooper’s life as a boy growing up in Texas in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The cast includes Iain Armitage, Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord, Matt Hobby, Annie Potts, Wallace Shawn and Craig T. Nelson.

The disc will include the featurette “The Coopers, East Texas and the 80s.”

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Netflix Inks First-Look Deal With ‘Big Bang Theory’ Co-Creator

“The Big Bang Theory” co-creator Bill Prady has entered a first look deal with Netflix for scripted series programming.

Prady will work with Netflix to develop, write and produce TV series across a range of genres including, drama, fantasy, science fiction and comedy.

“The opportunity to partner with Netflix is about more than just the support and creative freedom they have enthusiastically offered,” said Prady in a statement. “Their approach to television and respect for the viewer allow for the kind of in-depth storytelling I have long been a fan of. We are excited to not only develop and produce our own projects, but also to find and champion new voices with new visions.”

“Bill Prady is a renowned storyteller, and with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ he created characters who have defined a generation and will transcend the test of time,” said Netflix VP of original content Channing Dungey in a statement. “We’re excited to tap into his treasure trove of ideas and bring his next slate of projects to life.”

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Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Prady began his work in entertainment in 1983 at Jim Henson Productions (then Henson Associates Inc.). Working with Jim Henson, Prady wrote a wide variety of projects, the last being “The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson,” a posthumous tribute to the late puppeteer for which he received one of his five Emmy nominations.

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Following his work with Henson, Prady wrote for a number of television comedy and drama series. His first produced episode of series television was an episode of “Married… With Children” in 1991; his first staff writing job was on the HBO series “Dream On” in 1995. In 1997 he joined the writing staff of “Dharma & Greg,” rising to executive producer and taking over as showrunner in 2001. In 2007, Prady co-created the CBS series “The Big Bang Theory” with television veteran Chuck Lorre. He served as an executive producer of that series until its finale in May 2019.

 

Merchandising: The ‘Discovery’ of Exclusives

A couple of retailers had exclusive editions for the Nov. 12 new releases.

Best Buy had a version of Paramount’s Blu-ray release of Star Trek: Discovery — Season Two in Steelbook packaging for $39.99.

Target’s ‘The Big Bang Theory: Season 12’ Blu-ray box art

Target offered the Blu-ray of The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Twelfth and Final Season with exclusive box art for $32.99. The store didn’t offer the regular edition on its shelves, so buyers who wanted to standard box art were out of luck.

Target’s ‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’ Blu-ray with sticker book

Sony Pictures’ The Angry Birds Movie 2 at Target was offered in a Blu-ray combo pack with a 24-page activity book with stickers for $22.99.

HBO Max Gets ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Catalog

A day after Netflix secured streaming rights to “Seinfeld” from Hulu, HBO Max is reportedly obtaining exclusive domestic rights to former CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” for upwards of $1 billion for five years.

While CBS has its own SVOD service, CBS All Access, “Big Bang Theory” is produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Television, which is owned by HBO parent WarnerMedia (and AT&T).

HBO Max continues to spend big for its pending service launch, including inking director J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company for original movies and episodic content for a reported $500 million.

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The service previously shelled out $425 million for the rights to “Friends” from Netflix. NBC Universal spent $500 million acquiring “The Office” catalog — also from Netflix.

“We’re thrilled that HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home for this comedy juggernaut when we launch in the spring of 2020,” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia’s entertainment and direct-to-consumer divisions, told The Hollywood Reporterwhich broke the story. “This show has been a hit virtually around the globe, it’s one of the biggest shows on broadcast television of the last decade, and the fact that we get to bring it to a streaming platform for the first time in the U.S. is a coup for our new offering.”

‘Big Bang Theory’ Final Season on Disc Nov. 12

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release The Big Bang Theory: The Twelfth and Final Season on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 12.

The set will include “From Script to Screen” featurette about the final episode with behind-the-scenes and cast interviews, a gag reel, the CBS special “Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell,” and a digital copy of the episodes.

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Also due Nov. 12 is The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD.

The limited-edition Blu-ray will include all 279 episodes with nearly 12 hours of extras plus an additional disc with three never-before-seen featurettes, including a retrospective; a premium lay-flat book with pop-up art featuring the entire cast; a 32-page episode guide with an introduction from creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre; and digital copy offer for every episode.

Warner Bringing Season 11 of ‘Big Bang Theory’ to Disc Sept. 11

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eleventh Season on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 11.

The two-disc sets will include all 24 episodes plus a gag reel and three behind-the-scenes featurettes: “The Maturation Imperative,” “The Big Bang Theory: The Blueprint of Comedy” and “A BBT History of Time.”

The Blu-ray will also include video from the show’s panel at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International.