Non-Scripted Community “Devastated” By Cuts – Deadline


David Zaslav loves his car racing analogies.

The president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery recently said, “If the linear business is a race car, we have a team of race car drivers”. “If we hear a noise or if it’s in third gear, we know how to fix it. It’s a company we know well,” he said during the company’s Q2 earnings call.

He believes the same is true of the unscripted television business, Discovery’s bread and butter, which is one of the reasons HBO Max’s unscripted division, led by Jennifer O’Connell, was shut down as part of the final round. of layoffs.

However, the unscripted community is angry that he took this particular car off the road.

HBO Max has had success in the short time it has launched original reality series; FBoy Island, a dating show hosted by Nikki Glaser, is widely regarded as a hit. While the streamer isn’t divulging any ratings, he noted last August that the show had its biggest premiere weekend for an original Max reality series, breaking out in a crowded market with The Bachelor universeLove is blind and Love island.

Selena + Chef

Selena+Chef, a cooking format hosted by Only murders in the building star Selena Gomez, was an early pandemic hit from IPC that has now run for four seasons, and Legendarya Vogue competition series from Queer Eye producer Scout Productions, has been commended for bringing something fresh and diverse to the competition room.

Considering how difficult it has become to launch a new breakout entertainment format, that’s not bad for a service that’s just over two years old.

HBO Max had become one of the top destinations for developing and buying premium non-scripted projects with a twist. The concern for many is that the new combined service — a composite of HBO Max and Discovery+, which will be combined next summer — won’t be, and will largely be due to budgets. “Devastating,” a source told Deadline.

The streamer has been known to pay close to $2 million an hour for unscripted series, a figure nearly four times higher than Discovery’s usual ceiling, not counting the occasional high-profile talent-led project. Producers and agents are concerned that Discovery-led teams will look for more 90 days engaged about FBoy Islands. While the former is a huge hit for a much lower price, those shows are incredibly rare to find and can become the sole focus of a channel or service.



However, there is still hope for future seasons for FBoy Island, Selena+Chef and Legendary. Deadline understands that no decisions have yet been made regarding renewal or cancellation of those shows.

There are also a handful of high profile shows commissioned by O’Connell and her team that are active.

A revival of Project Green Light, giving newcomers the chance to direct their own feature film is in production by Issa Rae, Schitt’s Creek star and creator Dan Levy still makes competition series The big brunch of Chef’s Table producer Boardwalk Pictures and Jason Momoa are still editing the rock climbing competition series The climb.

“Those shows are safe from now on,” a source told Deadline. “But no project is completely safe. Everything is evaluated. They’re going to look at them all, everything is currently being driven by finances, so just because it’s safe today doesn’t mean they won’t take another look and say, ‘Maybe tax amortization would be better’.

Two days after HBO finally confirmed the layoffs — such moves, particularly in unscripted programs have been talked about for more than two months — the cuts were further highlighted when it emerged that a string of unscripted shows would be cut from the platform.

About last night

About last night

This included about last night, a reboot of tattoo tales hosted by Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Natasha Rothwell-Told Dating Show 12 dates of Christmaswhich was quickly renewed for a second season after it first aired, and Yvonne Orji hosted dating format My mother, your father, next to docuseries Generation HustleYA drama gender+ion and a whole host of animated series, including hundreds of hours on Sesame Street specials.

A creator whose show was due to be pulled from service told Deadline it was “heartbreaking.” “That’s two years of my life, and of many collaborators, gone,” said the author.

The other unfortunate by-product of these business decisions is the domino effect in terms of diversity. Look at that list of shows being drawn; About last night, Christmas 12 and my mom, your dad were all led by various stars. Much of HBO Max’s unscripted team was also diverse: three black women, including SVP, Non-Fiction Original Programming Rebecca Quinn, and an Asian man.

“It was a very inclusive group,” said a source. “When you look at all the people being let go and all the shows being held, it’s like being whitewashed. That’s not part of their equation when they make decisions, but I just think they don’t care.”

How much they care and what they care about will become more apparent in the next 12 months.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:


More like this