Friends is leaving Netflix next year — and all 236 episodes are heading to yet another streaming service: WarnerMedia's forthcoming HBO Max. The new arm of HBO, which is coming out in the spring of 2020, will include the entire HBO collection, new original content, and programming from WarnerMedia's other brands, including Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, and Cartoon Network. Netflix, which will also soon lose The Office to NBC's forthcoming streaming service, reportedly had paid $100 million last December to continue licensing Friends prior to this reacquisition by WarnerMedia.
Among the best offerings of HBO Max: exclusive streaming of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Big Bang Theory, Pretty Little Liars, Sesame Street, a Riverdale spin-off called Katy Keene, a Grease spin-off called Grease: Rydell High, and more, as well as an exclusive movie-production deal with Reese Witherspoon's production company, Hello Sunshine. And HBO Max's originals will include Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick; The Flight Attendant, starring Kaley Cuoco; and an animated adaptation of Gremlins. In its first five years, HBO Max is projected to gain 50 million U.S. subscribers.
So how exactly does HBO Max differ from HBO's already existing platforms, HBO Now and HBO Go? The latter two will offer the same arsenal of HBO content as HBO Max, without the new original content and WarnerMedia programming. At $14.99/month, HBO Now is a standalone streaming service that comes without a cable package — ideal for cord-cutters. For HBO Go, prices vary, as it depends on your cable provider. HBO Max, meanwhile, will reportedly cost $16 to $17 per month, according to The Wall Street Journal.