For all its titular Time Lord's adventures through time and relative dimensions in space, Doctor Who will be firmly rooted in one spot in terms of streaming, at least for the foreseeable future.
After signing a lucrative pact with BBC Studios, HBO Max has acquired exclusive streaming rights to all existing 11 modern-era seasons of the long-running British sci-fi series, which was revived in 2005. The forthcoming 12th season, starring Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor, will air on BBC America before streaming on HBO Max.
Doctor Who's historic early episodes, which aired through the latter half of the 20th century from 1963 to 1989, are not mentioned as being included in the deal.
Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu have all laid claim to the new seasons of Doctor Who, a cult hit on both sides of the pond, at various points over the past few years; but HBO Max's new deal will cut its competitors out of the lion's share of BBC programming. Its deal also includes the original U.K. version of The Office, Luther, Top Gear, and The Honorable Woman. New BBC debuts Pure, Trigonometry, Stath Lets Flats, Home, and Ghosts are also to be housed on HBO Max.
Warner Media's been moving aggressively to pad out the streaming service's library before beginning to test the service later this year. It's recently cinched big titles like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Pretty Little Liars, as well as (most painfully for Netflix, which paid $100 million last December to keep it for just one more year) Friends. That's of course in addition to HBO's own back catalog, which boasts crown-jewel dramas The Sopranos and Game of Thrones as well as beloved dramedies Veep and Sex and the City. The existing Warner catalogue also spans original programming on The CW—like Riverdale, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries—and the various Turner properties, including TBS, TNT, truTV, and Cartoon Network.
“Doctor Who is one of television’s all-time, most beloved series, on both sides of the pond, and we are happy to be the exclusive streaming stewards for this BBC gem” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max. “Another series to further define the high-quality content experience consumers can expect from HBO Max.”
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