The future of HBO Max’s European originals team has appeared bleak ever since it emerged Warner Bros Discovery was stopping production in the continent, and it now looks to be facing the end.
Most of the unit, overseen by EMEA content chief Antony Root, are understood to be in talks over their futures, though several productions from the unit will continue across Europe in coming months. All staff will either have exited or be redeployed in coming months, with Root’s future unclear.
Sources say almost all European shows in development have now been scrapped, while some are understood to have been stopped just before they went into production in Eastern Europe.
For example, Romanian unscripted show One True Singer’s second season has been cancelled, having been set to start shooting this month, while scripted series Ruxx season two is also gone. In other parts of Europe, several shows are understood to have been dropped.
A handful remain in production and are expected to be licensed to other broadcasters or streamers.
This comes after it emerged WBD was cutting back on production in Europe, as David Zaslav and his team attempt to find $3B in cost savings following the merger of Warner Bros and Discovery.
The move primarily affects operations in Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Turkey. France and Spain were unaffected, though the picture in those territories remains unclear. The news was a shock to HBO Max commissioners, who
Many producers are in mourning over the loss, with HBO Europe considered a trailblazer in the continent for setting up shop there in the mid-2000s when other U.S.-owned studios were focused elsewhere. HBO Europe had been headquartered in Romania, where shows such as a local version of Israeli scripted format In Therapy had been produced. One local producer in the country summed up the mood, telling Deadline: “It feels like the end of an era.”
Sources inside WBD are anticipating a personnel announcement in September, though the exact nature isn’t yet know.
WBD couldn’t be reached for comment in Europe before publication today.
The news of the layoffs was first reported by TBI.