HBO's Cinemax Pushes Into Original Content

The Time Warner network reportedly has a deal to make 'The Transporter' film franchise into a series as it looks to become the latest premium channel to go beyond movies to develop a stronger brand.

NEW YORK - HBO's Cinemax is pushing into original content in a revamp that will add action series to the pay cable network's traditional movie fare, the New York Post said Monday.

Pay channels - from Showtime to Starz - have increasingly focused on originals as a way to create an identity and brand that films, which have long been out on DVD, alone can't provide.

Late last week, the 30-year-old network unveiled its first primetime show - an action series called Strike Back about a U.S. secret agent who teams up with a British military unit to fight terrorist groups.

According to the Post, Cinemax has also struck a deal to make a TV series based on the Transporter movie franchise - with its original star Jason Statham - and is in talks with at least three other big-name movie producers to create original action shows.

To keep costs down, HBO is producing shows with partners, such as British pay TV channel Sky in the case of Strike Back, or buying only U.S. rights, letting producers sell shows in increasingly lucrative overseas markets.

"We're exploring a few other shows like Strike Back that we feel would add value for the Cinemax subscriber, but there is nothing else to announce at this time," an HBO spokesman told the Post.