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HBO Max cuts dozens of titles in a cost-cutting move before a merger with Discovery+

The beloved animated series<em> Summer Camp Island</em> is among the list of 36 titles HBO Max says it will no longer host on its streaming service.
Cartoon Network Studios, Inc.
The beloved animated series<em> Summer Camp Island</em> is among the list of 36 titles HBO Max says it will no longer host on its streaming service.

HBO Max is pulling 36 titles from its streaming platform this week, the company confirmed to NPR, citing the pending merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, which are both owned by parent conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery. It's the platform's latest and largest content purge in a series of recent cost-cutting moves.

"As we work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and discovery+," HBO Max said in a statement emailed to NPR. "That will include the removal of some content from both platforms."

The content set to disappear includes HBO Max originals like the teen drama Generation and Sesame Street spinoff The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, as well as an unspecified selection of Sesame Street specials, and several animated shows, including Summer Camp Island.

HBO Max has quietly axed several shows and movies in recent weeks, such as Vinyl, Mrs. Fletcher, Run and Camping. But this latest announcement marks the most titles the company has taken off the platform, Variety reported. Removing titles that aren't as popular, the publication noted, will likely save Warner Bros. Discovery money on residuals for those programs.

The content slashes are just one part of multiple changes — largely hitting HBO Max the hardest — ahead of the merger, in the wake of last year's merger between Warner Media and Discovery.

About 70 employees — or about 14% of the total staff — were laid off earlier this week, as Deadline reported. Most of the layoffs were on the HBO Max side, as Warner Bros. Discovery looks to reduce redundant positions.

The news follows the platform's recent canning of Batgirl while the film was in post-production, which Warner Bros. Discovery attributed to its "leadership's strategic shift" as it rethinks its superhero content.

Here's the full list of the titles HBO Max says it will remove this week:

12 Dates of Christmas

About Last Night

Aquaman: King of Atlantis

Close Enough

Detention Adventure

Dodo

Ellen's Next Great Designer

Elliott From Earth

Esme & Roy

The Fungies!

Generation Hustle

Genera+ion

Infinity Train

Little Ellen

Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart

Messy Goes to Okido

Mia's Magic Playground

Mighty Magiswords

My Dinner with Herve

My Mom, Your Dad

Odo

OK K.O.! - Let's Be Heroes

The Ollie & Moon Show

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness

Select Sesame Street Specials

Make It Big, Make It Small

Share

Squish

Summer Camp Island

The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo

The Runaway Bunny - Special

Theodosia

Tig n' Seek

Uncle Grandpa

Victor and Valentino

Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: August 18, 2022 at 9:00 PM PDT
An earlier version of this story referred to an animated series as Summer Island Camp. The show is called Summer Camp Island.