‘House Of The Dragon’ Season 2 To Debut In June, Says Warner Bros. Discovery’s JB Perrette

Season 2 of House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO/Max in June, said JB Perrette, head of global streaming & games for Warner Bros. Discovery.

Speaking at a media conference Q&A today, he said it’s one of a handful of HBO tentpole series set to contribute to a turnaround at the media giant after a soft period for film and television due in part to the Hollywood strikes last year.

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He didn’t give a specific premiere date. HBO and Max content chief Casey Bloys last said in November that the season would be coming in early summer. Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav confirmed during the February 23 earnings call that Season 2 would premiere in Q2.

House of the Dragon is set 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen. It stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno and Rhys Ifans. Ryan Condal and George R.R. Martin executive produce with Sara Hess, Vince Gerardis, Season 2 director Alan Taylor and Season 1 director/co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik.

“When we look at the next 12-18-24 months, we have all of our four biggest HBO tentpoles – House of the Dragon Season Two coming in June,” as well as new installments of The Last of Us, Euphoria and White Lotus, Perrette said at the Morgan Stanley confab.

He noted the strategy being implemented by Bloys – “my sort of partner on the content side” – is looking to “bigger Warner Brothers IP” for originals. “So less of the Winning Time(s) or the Julia(s), and more of” The Penguin, which arrives on Max this fall from the DC Universe, a Dune series “based on the obviously incredible success of the movie” and The Conjuring.

“So, we have a lot more of what we call four quadrants, appealing to everybody. Big, known IP.”

He called content one of a number of “vectors” WBD is counting on to boost Max as the streamer moves to consistent profitability. It’s just about the two-year anniversary of the Discovery-Warner Media merger, which saddled the combined company with heft debt. Max — former HBO Max — launched last May. With the share price barely above $8, investors are antsy for good news from the David Zaslav-led company.

Perrette said it’s a slow build but predicted streaming growth from an international push (in Latin America and moving into Europe), a crackdown on password sharing, an ad-light offering, and the content lineup.

“In the eight months following [Max launch], for a variety of reasons, some that we knew about some that were related to the strike, we went into probably the lightest content slate we’ve ever had,” he said. WBD signed an output deal with A24 in December that kicked off this quarter. “So in the back half of last year, our pay one movies were significantly less volume, our Warner Bros. slate, other than Barbie, which is obviously a huge hit, was lighter, and not as strong as as we had hoped.”

For “our original slate partly, because of the strike, we pushed out some titles that were supposed to be in the fourth quarter because we couldn’t get the talent to help promote it. So we had a much lighter slate in the second half of the year than we ever expected.”

He was upbeat on the streaming sports joint venture recently announced by Disney, WBD and Fox. “It’s great to have our Sports on Max, and it’s super-serving a fan base that is spending more time with sports. But if you’re a real sports fan, you want more.” So “aggregation is super powerful, and can provide meaningfully more opportunity for us and our partners. And that’s where we gave birth to our sports, venture conversation.”

Sports on Max has helped build awareness and is growing month to month, he said, at it prepares to launch March Madness later in this month and the NBA playoffs later in the spring. “And so our lineup gets stronger as we get through the next few months. And then. over time, as we finalize the venture and the structure of the venture, we’ll figure out what exactly we do with our sports offering on Max in relation to the sports offering” on the JV.

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