cast of friends on a couch

HBO Max Officially Has A Launch Date, So You Can Marathon 'Friends' Again Soon

by Ani Bundel

The shift to streaming continues apace. Apple TV+ and Disney+ both launched in November of 2019 as alternatives to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Recently, NBC's Peacock debuted with a soft launch to Comcast subscribers. (The full version for everyone comes in July.) Meanwhile, HBO Max is also around the corner, with everything Warner Brothers and Turner-related as a part of it. With so many people stuck at home, the question is, when does HBO Max debut? Blessedly, it's arriving with summer, just a few days after Memorial Day.

Fans might be a little perplexed in how HBO Max is different from HBO Now or HBO Go. The answer is surprisingly simple. HBO Go is the HBO streaming for those who have cable but want to watch on their laptops. HBO Now is HBO streaming for those who don't have cable but want to subscribe directly to HBO.

HBO Max differs from both of these because, despite the name, it's not just HBO: It's Warner Brothers Streaming. Warner went with the HBO name because of the cultural cache of that particular brand. But in reality, HBO Max is far more than just the cable channel.

HBO Max is comprised of three major brands: Warner, Turner, and HBO. It will have the entire Warner Brothers movie and TV library, including all the old WB Bugs Bunny cartoons and the hit series Friends. It has all the shows from TNT and TBS like Conan, and it has everything that HBO airs, including Sesame Street and Game of Thrones. And it all arrives on May 27, 2020.

The streaming service will have six brand new shows ready for launch day. Some are very HBO-style, but the service is taking full advantage of all the franchises under its umbrella, starting with Looney Tunes.

Anna Kendrick stars in Love Life, about "the journey from first love to last love."

On The Record is a #MeToo documentary series about music executive Drew Dixon's difficult decision to come forward with her story.

There are also two new competition reality series. First up, Legendary, pulling from the underground ballroom scene in New York.

The other is the more family-oriented Craftopia where kids compete to make amazing creations.

And because it wouldn't be a streaming service branded HBO without Sesame Street, Elmo is getting a late-night program that will blessedly air before bedtime, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo.

HBO Max was also supposed to have a Friends reunion show to debut with the service's arrival. But that's been pushed back, and will hopefully air later in 2020.

HBO Max launches on Wednesday, May 27. 2020.