Warner Bros. Is Butchering Their Classic Shows For Profit

Warner Bros is cutting mature content from True Blood and Silicon Valley, so it can be played on networks like TNT and TBS.

By Britta DeVore | Published

Martin Starr

It’s no secret that times are a little tough for everyone right now with even major studios and streaming services feeling a pinch on their wallets. Following a costly merger with Discovery, Warner Bros has been finding ways to better hang on to their pennies and to make more money. According to Variety, the studio’s latest move is to allow major HBO shows like Silicon Valley and True Blood to be cut for mature content and ad breaks and put on cable networks, TBS and TNT, respectively.

The dry run will take place this Saturday with Warner Bros plucking HBO-only shows and dropping them onto their respective networks to give audiences a chance to see what all the fuss is about with these series that both bowed out years ago. Of course, to format them for their test run on cable, the studio will need to make some major cuts for both brevity’s sake as well as for the more loose content HBO is known for. Placed conveniently following the NBA All-Star coverage on both channels, the programs will begin immediately following the game, hoping to keep audiences around for titles they’ve surely heard about but have maybe not seen before. 

true blood warner bros

Following their weekend premieres, vampire drama True Blood will take over TNT on Mondays at 10 p.m. with comedy Silicon Valley airing on TBS on Sundays at 10 p.m. Seeing as how each production is broadcasting at the same time every week, hopefully, there aren’t any crossover fans who really want to watch both shows. While Warner Bros has done a similar cable cut before for legendary HBO titles The Sopranos and Sex and the City, it will be the first time in quite a while that the network is trying it with other series. 

Warner Bros has often been in the entertainment headlines over the last few months following its merger with Discovery, which led to many fan-favorite programs getting the ax. To cut down on their costs, the studio made the move to not only cancel favorites like Snowpiercer, but they’ve also pushed loads of titles off HBO Max including the recently canned Westworld and The Time Traveler’s Wife. They’ve even halted productions like the highly anticipated feature Batgirl, a move that’s been hotly debated since it was scrapped last summer. 

Still, Warner Bros Discovery continues to chug on with HBO drawing in viewers by the droves for their latest mega-hit, The Last of Us. The Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey-led video-game-turned-series has been steadily gaining viewership numbers with more folks flocking to stream the post-apocalyptic tale each week. And then there’s the unexpected wide success of their adult animated series Velma which, despite initially garnering nothing but negative feedback, has whipped up enough of a following to receive a second-season order. 

While they may be getting creative with their new strategy, we do not doubt that Warner Bros knows what they’re doing by sending True Blood and Silicon Valley to cable television. The move is most likely a test run to see how many extra eyes they can get focused on their cable channels and lock them in week after week. If the payoff is good, who knows, maybe Game of Thrones will be making its way to cable next.