Warner Bros. Discovery is running quite a few experiments with its different channels. And the latest one includes airing edited versions of HBO’s True Blood and Silicon Valley on basic cable channels. These episodes, designed for HBO, of course, have TV-MA ratings in network terms. And they’ll need to tone down the HBO-style blood and sex with content edits. Ad breaks will also need to be inserted into the HBO shows.
As reported by Variety, HBO content has been converted in this way before for shows like Sex and the City and The Sopranos, but this marks the first time this has happened for more modern HBO fare. The HBO-lite version of True Blood will air on TNT, while Silicon Valley will air on TBS.
The idea is to see if the shows can “attract new audiences,” according to Kathleen Finch, chairman and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Discovery’s US Networks Group. The move certainly could make sense. It comes at an interesting time for the Warner Bros. Discovery brand and the HBO name. Recently, it was suggested that the brand recognition of “HBO” may limit HBO Max’s potential reach, especially when it comes to families. Now, less extreme versions of HBO shows are being floated to audiences. Only time will tell where this will all go and how it will impact HBO’s offerings going forward. We feel interested to see how True Blood and company will look off HBO and on basic cable.