For decades, Warnermedia and Discovery co-existed independently. They live in separate universes with virtually no business interaction, as unscripted television is the main area of their overlap. Discovery Networks works primarily with independent producers and is not a studio like Warner Bros. TV, which has created only one reality show for a Discovery Net through its Shade subsidiary.
However, there is a close working relationship that basically flew under the radar and created instant coordination after the merger – on the scripted side between Warner Bros. TV and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Over the past five years, WBTV has become OWN’s de-facto scripted studio, producing virtually all of its original scripted series. Queen Sugar And David Max Man Per All Rise.
Once the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger is complete, OWN and WBTV will merge vertically, with HBO Max as OWN’s corporate sibling streamer. According to sources, WBTV is looking to expand its business with OWN under the new proprietary structure, and plans to have an OWN / Oprah Winfrey presence on HBO Max, possibly with its branded vertical.
OWN and Warner Bros. The relationship between the TV began in February 2015 when the network announced the first order of drama for a non-Tyler Perry scripted series, Ava DuVernay. Queen SugarFrom WBTV where DuVernay was under a contract.
Queen of Sugar, Traveling through its seventh and final seasons, it became one of OWN’s biggest hits, followed by a number of other WBTV scripted series, including David McMan, Love Is__, Delilah, DuVernay’s latest creation, Nurture the dayAnd King of Napar.
When WBTV’s serial drama All Rise Canceled by CBS after two seasons last May, it was OWN that took steps to save it, picking up the show for the third season. This was done in a joint venture with HBO Max and Hulu, which shared the streaming rights of the legal drama.
All Rise And David Max Man Currently on HBO Max. (Queen Sugar Hulu has a streaming agreement with a pre-launch date of the WarnerMedia streamer.)
HBO Max will create a destination on an OWN-branded hub streamer that can help expand its reach and popularity among black viewers, an important component of any platform’s growth strategy.
Linearly, OWN is overseen by Kathleen Finch as Discovery increases its stake in the network to 95% by 2020. In his role as chairman and chief content officer of the US Networks Group, Warner Bros. Discovery, a new, consolidated group of more than 40 US networks, which was unveiled earlier today, is expected to continue.
Winfrey and his Harpo Productions are a minority investor in OWN, who turned a profit a few years ago after an initial struggle. Winfrey, who has a close relationship with David Jaslav, CEO of Incoming Warner Bros. Discovery, has signed on as CEO and exclusive programming provider by 2025.
Dead Hayes contributed to this story.