‘Westworld’ Reappears in Streaming Reshuffle


Despair not, Westworld fans. The sci-fi epic is returning to streaming after it was pulled from HBO Max at the end of last year. Soon viewers will be able to stream the show for free.

Owner Warner Bros. Discovery has licensed Westworld and several other shows including The NeversRaised by WolvesFBoy Island, and Legendary to stream on free, ad-supported channels operated by Roku and Tubi. David Decker, president of content sales for Warner Bros. Discovery, called the deals part of the company’s plan to “bring our valuable content to fans across the country.” The company is also working to develop its own free, ad-supported streaming service, which would live alongside the paid streamer it plans to launch this summer to combine content from HBO Max and Discovery+. 

HBO’s surprising decision to cancel Westworld in November after four seasons—and its subsequent removal from HBO Max—was one of a string of cost-cutting moves enacted by CEO David Zaslav last year following the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery. Zaslav and his team began pulling original movies and TV shows, including The WitchesAn American Pickle, and Charm City Kings, from HBO Max last July and August. The cuts continued through the end of the year, when in addition to Westworld, originals including MinxLove Life, and Gordita Chronicles were canceled and pulled from streaming. At the time, the company said it would make some of those shows available again via free, ad-supported channels. 

Tubi said that on February 1 it will start adding more than 2,000 hours of Warner Bros. Discovery programming to its platform. That includes a channel called WB TV Series featuring episodes of WestworldRaised by Wolves, and The Time Traveler’s Wife. A WB TV Reality channel will include episodes from LegendaryFBoy Island, and Finding Magic Mike, and a WB TV Family channel will feature such series as Head of the Class. As part of the deal, Tubi will also add Warner Bros. movies and on-demand Discovery programming to its lineup. Roku will introduce Warner Bros.–branded channels to the Roku Channel beginning this spring.

Several HBO Max originals that were owned by outside studios were left out of the announcements from Tubi and Roku. Minx, for instance, was canceled at HBO Max as it prepared to wrap production on its second season, and producer Lionsgate TV was expected to shop the Jake Johnson–led project to other networks. Critically adored coming-of-age comedy Gordita Chronicles is owned by Sony.

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