J.J. Abrams’ ‘Demimonde’ Dead at HBO

J.J. Abrams’ ‘Demimonde’ Dead at HBO thumbnail

As expected, Demimonde will not be moving forward at HBO ..

The series, which marked the first original created by J.J. Abrams since Fringe in 2008, has officially been passed over by the premium cable network following issues surrounding the show’s sprawling budget.

Sources inform THR that Abrams made a last-ditch appeal to HBO/HBO Max boss Casey Broys to save the drama from being cancelled. Bloys took the week to do so but ultimately the decision was made to part ways with the series for which Abrams had sought a budget north of $200 million. By comparison, HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon clocked in at less than $200 million. Abrams was also slated to direct the pilot for Demimonde, which has already changed showrunners since it landed at HBO in 2018 following a bidding war with Apple.

Demimonde and starring Danielle Deadwyler Station Eleven, Watchmen ), will be sold by Warner Bros. Television to streamers such as Apple and Netflix — platforms on which Abrams has other shows. Apple, where Abrams also had Little Voice and limited series Lisey’s Story ,, is considered a natural home to Demimonde. Apple, it’s worth noting, strongly pursued an overall deal with Bad Robot though sources at the time suggested Abrams turned down a pact rumored to be worth $500 million because of its exclusivity.

News that Demimonde has been axed at HBO arrives after Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has been taking a hard look at all of the studio’s rich overall deals. Sources say the executive, who has been tasked with trimming $3 billion from the newly merged company, has been unhappy with the lack of output from Abrams and his Bad Robot banner’s $250 million overall deal that was signed back in 2019.

The inability to deliver content to HBO Max and HBO Premium has created a pipeline problem for both the streamer and premium cable network, making it difficult to plan budgets for marketing and advertising. Bad Robot has multiple projects that are not available on the WBD platforms. There is no delivery plan. It’s worth noting that Abrams is currently working on a new Star Trek movie for Paramount Global, as the Warners pact didn’t include exclusivity.

Demimonde is not the first Bad Robot series to be granted a pass by HBO/HBO Max. The streamer last year also dropped Overlook, with the spinoff of sorts from The Shining having landed at Netflix after Warners shopped the series. Overlook was one of the first three shows Abrams and Bad Robot set up in April 2020 under the company’s sprawling overall deal. The series is still uncast and there is no timetable for a premiere.

Inside Demimonde and Overlook Abrams have multiple TV projects under the company-wide agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery. At HBO/Max, Bad Robot is behind the adult animated Batman series, Subject to Change, Fledgeling, Josh Holloway drama Duster and the DC Comics-based Justice League Dark franchise that features Constantine (in the works since early 2021) and Madame X (picked up last June). Sources claim that Warners has the bulk scripts for Constantine and the pilot for Madame , though neither show has been cast. Other projects include a U2 scripted series for Netflix and Apple’s Presumed Innocent, Jennifer Garner vehicle My Glory Was I Had Such Friends and the long-gestating but recently announced Speed Racer. Abrams and Bad Robot, which is run with his partner/wife Katie McGrath are also working on the fourth season of HBO’s Westworld . A sprawling film slate will include titles for Paramount, WBD and Netflix. Bad Robot is expanding into podcasts and video games as it continues to evolve into a multimedia company.

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