DC Universe's future looks bleak as its parent company, WarnerMedia, undergoes a dramatic restructuring
- The DC Universe
streamingservice was hit with major layoffs on Monday, according to The HollywoodReporter and Variety, as part of a restructuring for its parent company WarnerMedia.
- The layoffs are another sign that the fan-centric platform is struggling to survive as WarnerMedia prioritizes its new flagship service,
- Sources close to DCU told Business Insider in May that they felt it wasn't a priority for WarnerMedia, and questioned its longevity.
- "Doom Patrol" and "Harley Quinn," two shows formerly exclusive to DCU, are also available to stream on Max, and Max is developing big-budget DC content.
- If you have a tip about DC Universe, DM the author on Twitter @TravClark2 or email him at email@example.com
On Monday, DC was hit with major layoffs as part of a larger restructuring of its parent company, WarnerMedia, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. The majority of the DCU staff was laid off, according to THR.
DC declined to comment. A WarnerMedia representative did not return a request for comment.
Speculation swirled about the longevity of DC Universe after it abruptly canceled its series "Swamp Thing" last year after one season, blindsiding some crew members involved in the show.
The speculation intensified as WarnerMedia prepared to launch its flagship streaming service, HBO Max, which debuted in May. The layoffs throughout the company are the latest sign that DCU as we know it may be in for a dramatic change.
Ahead of Max's launch, Business Insider reported in May that some DCU insiders felt it wasn't a priority for WarnerMedia. Sources close to the platform expressed uncertainty about its future, including two former employees of Warner Bros. Digital Labs, a product unit that works on the company's streaming services. They cited that uncertainty as a main reason for why they left.
"Most of the people who I'd worked with were confused about what HBO Max means for DC Universe," one of the former staffers said.
DC Universe lacks exclusive DC shows
Since HBO Max launched, DCU has lost some of its exclusive offerings.
"Doom Patrol," formerly a DC Universe exclusive series, is available on both platforms and season two was touted as both a DCU and a Max original. The animated "Harley Quinn" TV series is now available to stream on both DCU and Max, as well.
The former Max content chief Kevin Reilly, who was laid off this week as part of WarnerMedia's leadership shakeup, told Business Insider in an interview in May that "there have been extensive discussions around DCU because DC is such a valuable entity to us and the depth of fandom is so important."
"There were high-end series that DCU produced that felt like, budgetarily, [HBO Max] could handle from a business model better, and bring along and service that swath of fans," Reilly said at the time. "'Doom Patrol' was a show we identified that had deep love for it and tucked right into our portfolio."
The CW has also taken one of DCU's series. "Stargirl" will move exclusively to The CW network for season two after season one aired on both DCU and The CW.
Beyond those losses, high-profile DC content is being developed for Max, including a Green Lantern TV series and a Justice League Dark series from J.J. Abrams.
Have a tip about DC Universe? DM the author on Twitter @TravClark2 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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