The streaming wars have claimed another victim.
Two years after it launched as a home for scripted originals and library content, DC Universe is officially exiting the scripted landscape and transitioning to a comics-centric platform. But there is good news that comes with the change: All of the platform’s scripted originals and library titles will move to fellow WarnerMedia-backed streamer HBO Max. That includes animated breakout Harley Quinn, which has now been renewed for a third season.
Harley Quinn will join Doom Patrol and the previously announced third season of Titans as an HBO Max original. Previous seasons of all three shows will also now migrate to HBO Max. The trio of Greg Berlanti-produced dramas from Warner Bros. TV will join other originals Young Justice and Stargirl.
Harley Quinn, from showrunners Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, has picked up steam since its first two seasons arrived on HBO Max. Sources say the renewal, which came early Thursday, followed a round of negotiations that hinged on a new budget for the series. That process had been stalled by the major executive shake-up at the streamer that saw senior leaders Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly pushed out and oversight of the platform given to HBO’s Casey Bloys. That all of the original scripted and library offerings on DC Universe would move to HBO Max comes as little surprise. The platform stopped buying months ago and originals had been slowly moved elsewhere. (Stargirl, for example, was renewed for a second season on The CW, while Doom Patrol‘s sophomore run was shared on both DCU and Max.)
“The original content that is on DCU is migrating to HBO Max. Truthfully, that’s the best platform for that content,” DC’s Jim Lee told THR last month. “The amount of content you get, not just DC, but generally from WarnerMedia, is huge and it’s the best value proposition. … We feel that is the place for that.”
DC Universe had also been home to a growing roster of library titles. The service, for example, launched two years ago with offerings including the original Wonder Woman, the Batman animated series, Superfriends, Birds of Prey, Teen Titans (2003), Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Constantine, Batman Beyond, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman: The Animated Series and the Justice League animated series, among others. It’s unclear which of those will make the move and when as dealmaking to move platforms remains part of the ongoing process.
Still, the DCU offerings will obviously give DC Comics fare a greater presence on HBO Max, which remains WarnerMedia’s highest priority. The subscription service launched earlier this year and, starting with Batwoman, is the streaming home for other DC series that launch on The CW with Superman & Lois also getting a second window on the platform. Berlanti also has two DC dramas (that aren’t connected to The CW’s “verse”) in the works at HBO Max: a new take on Green Lantern and anthology Strange Adventures. What’s more, J.J. Abrams is developing the Justice League Dark universe as an HBO Max TV franchise for the streamer. On the library side, HBO Max is already home to a roster of DC titles including features Suicide Squad, Joker, Justice League, Shazam, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and, yes, Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn.