Harry Potter is coming to HBO Max — just not the way many fans expected. The rumored Harry Potter TV show is now a reality, but it'll be in the form of an unscripted quiz show and retrospective special that will stream on HBO Max and air on Cartoon Network and TBS later this year.
Harry Potter is one of the crown jewels of IP owned by WarnerMedia, though through various contractual quirks, you have to head over to Peacock to watch the Harry Potter movies in order. Industry insiders have long predicted that WarnerMedia would bolster HBO Max with Harry Potter spinoffs, and fans hoped to see series set within that universe — like a Marauders prequel.
Instead, they're getting a quiz show. Cue the sad trombone.
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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Warner is putting on a Wizarding World five-night event on HBO Max, Cartoon Network and TBS sometime later this year.
An untitled quiz competition will feature Potterheads answering trivia questions, with special guests making appearances. Casting is taking place now on WizardingWorld.com.
"For fans who have always wanted to discover what it might be like to take the O.W.L. exams, this is as close as they are going to get!," Warner Bros. executive Tom Scheim said.
An online play-along component will let viewers at home participate. The four one-hour quiz specials will be followed by a film retrospective.
This is definitely not the Harry Potter TV show that Potterheads have been clamoring to see. That's not to say a scripted series wont happen; according to The Hollywood Reporter, "broad ideas have been discussed" but "the conversations are still in the extremely early stages." Warner Bros. previously denied that any Harry Potter series were in development.
So, we can still hold out hope for that Marauders prequel about young James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew solemnly swearing they are up to no good. Until then, dust off your Hogwarts robe, tap into your inner Hermione Granger and sharpen those trivia skills.
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.