HBO Max exclusives and originals detailed ahead of 2020 launch

WarnerMedia will use ‘Friends’ to stock its new HBO Max streaming service starting next year

The new WarnerMedia streamer will be called HBO Max, and can we just take a moment and appreciate the decision to name it something other than "Plus", a la Disney+ and Apple TV+? Friends is going to be leaving Netflix on January 1st, 2020 and remain away from a streaming service up until Spring 2020 when it'll launch on the newly announced HBO Max platform.

Fans of Friends were given a temporary reprieve past year when Netflix was able to secure a last-minute deal for $80 million to keep the beloved 90s series around through to the end of 2019 - after it was announced that the streaming platform might lose its hold.

WarnerMedia announced on Tuesday its answer to Netflix, which it is calling HBO Max.

Entertainment companies are pulling some of their stuff from Netflix to stock their own services.

The streaming service will feature exclusive originals the "best-of-the-best from the WarnerMedia protfolio".

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The price - a subject of much debate when it comes to WarnerMedia's fortunes - hasn't been set yet, though observers think it will come in slightly higher than HBO Now's current $14.99/month.

HBO Max will be competing with all of the new services that are coming to market over the next couple of years, all of which hope to unseat Netflix as the dominant provider. Actress Anna Kendrick will star in a romantic-comedy series, and Kaley Cuoco, from Warner Bros.' "The Big Bang Theory", will appear in a thriller produced by Greg Berlanti.

"Game of Thrones" writer George R.R. Martin also commented on the service, saying "Back in 1991, after a decade in television, I began writing a series of novels that I knew would never be filmed". While not mentioned in the announcement, in spite of the service now not expected to be fully consumer-ready until next year, it is expected to enter a beta state later in 2019.

This new development raises more questions about the future of the streaming services industry. Starting with the fall 2019 series, the shows will move to HBO Max as their streaming home.

In addition to massive properties like Friends, meanwhile, original shows and movies will also be created for HBO Max. Casey Bloys, programming president of HBO, continues to oversee content on the HBO service, with investment in HBO original programming having been increased 50%.

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