Per Deadline (opens in new tab), HBO Max just canceled Minx, its 1970s dramedy about the adult film industry starring Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson. And it did so in the oddest of ways. Minx season 2 just finished production, and that season won't air on HBO Max, either.
Oh, and Minx season 1? Deadline says it's getting the heave-ho, about to get erased off the HBO Max servers. The same Minx that's so critically-beloved that it currently has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab).
And, yes, for those watching the big game of streaming war chess at home can probably guess why it's all happening like this: budgets. Getting rid of Minx before any post-production is done saves money, and taking it off the service means they don't have to pay any royalty fees or anything else that would be connected with owning hosting it.
Minx comes from Lionsgate TV, which is looking to find a new home for Minx seasons 1 and 2.
Analysis: The bloodletting at HBO Max is not over yet
In August, the first signs of something bad going down with HBO Max surfaced as six Max Original movies disappeared. Those titles included Seth Rogen's An American Pickle, the Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer-led The Witches remake and Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse's Moonshot. More HBO Max shows, such as Little Ellen and Made for Love, would get canceled next.
Then, WBD clipped HBO Max movie Batgirl's wings, even though filming (again) had wrapped, and $90 million had been invested. The move was done as a cost-saving maneuver, even though this kind of project would normally be released in one way or another. Creatives were upset, all the while WBD head honcho David Zaslav was painted as the 'butcher' of WBD, doing everything he could to try and erase debt acquired when Discovery Inc. acquired Warner Bros. earlier this year.
HBO Max is also just one of multiple parts of the Warner Bros. Discovery empire that's currently in flux. Recent layoffs inside the company just hit CNN.
Oh, and the HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger is practically imminent, and this cancelation reminds us that the new service is rumored to be called 'Max.' That almost makes us worry if WBD is taking the HBO out of HBO Max.