Harry Potter and the Streamed Television Series – Confirmed.

Yesterday at 1pm Eastern Time (and 6pm here in the UK) Warner Brothers Discovery held a press event to announce the launch of the new television streaming service Max. Rumours were spread, from sources within Warner Discovery, last week that they were close to closing a deal, that would see a new television adaptation of Harry Potter announced at the same time. Speculation from the ever reliable Rowling Library suggested that one reason for the leak was to increase pressure on Rowling Inc to sign before the press event so that the new series could be announced at the same, increasing the impact of Max in the increasingly competitive streaming market.

For this reason, the event was joined not just by investors and media journalists, but also a healthy number of Rowling and Potter watchers, myself among them. Right at the very end of the hour long presentation the announcement was made, clearly as the headline of the new service. Find out what we know, and the initial reactions after the jump:

The press event was due to last an hour, and an hour duly went by with no mention of new Harry Potter content. Then, at the last moment, and after a new Game of Thrones spinoff series was announced, Casey Bloys dropped the half expected bombshell:

Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO HBO: For Max originals we are unbelievably excited to announce our return to the biggest entertainment franchise of the last 25 years. Over the course of the next decade… and David wanted me to make sure you heard me say, next decade… 10 years… we will once again enter the wonderous world of Harry Potter as a multi season live action series for the first time. With a new cast playing the beloved characters over the next 10 years, we truly have the time to tell more in depth stories in ways the world has never seen before.

The new series will take shape as a faithful adaptation of all seven original books and will stand alongside the iconic films to an entirely new generation of Harry Potter fans. We are so excited to enter this rich universe and explore its incredible characters in a series format. With J. K. Rowling serving as an Executive Producer we do so with the craft and care that is the hallmark of this franchise and our amazing team at Max and Warner Bothers Television. The Harry Potter and Wizarding World universe is uniquely global reaching every language, and shows no signs of slowing down for billions of dedicated fans around the world.

We couldn’t be more thrilled for this next chapter. Now here’s David to close us out:

David Zaslav, CEO Warner Discovery: Whew, seeing those seven Harry Potter books… My wife and I read them to each of our three children… it was the first book they each read… its really moving. And the idea that for 10 consecutive years, people will see Harry Potter on HBO. I mean its really something.

The main takeout from this, is that the series will be live action and not animated, will last for ten years and will cover all seven original books. J. K. Rowling will act as one of the Executive Producers.

Very shortly after the press event J. R. Rowling’s official website posted the following statement:

HBO Max’s new streaming service, Max, announced today an original Harry Potter scripted television series with Warner Bros. Discovery and J.K. Rowling as Executive Producer.  The series will be a faithful and authentic adaptation of the books and will be available on Max in the US and globally once produced.

The stories from J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter books will become a decade-long series with each season dedicated to one of the seven books, full of the fantastic detail, much-loved characters, and dramatic locations that fans have adored for over twenty-five years.

A new cast will lead a new generation of fandom, and the series will stand alongside the original classic and beloved films which will remain widely available.  Produced in association with Brontë Film and TV with Neil Blair and Ruth Kenley-Letts joining J.K. Rowling as Executive Producers.

So we know that Neil Blair (Rowling’s agent) and Ruth Kenley-Letts (CEO of Brontë Film and TV) will join Rowling as Executive Producers. The series will be produced in association with Brontë, the company owned by Jo which is responsible for producing the the Strike television series and the television adaptation of Casual Vacancy.

Fan leaders for Mugglenet, Hogwarts Radio, Alohomora, Speak Beasty, Dialogue Alley, Potterversity and Potterish joined in a Twitter Space to talk about the announcement. Sadly most voices seem to have already written their reviews for the series, mainly centring around the immorality of J. K. Rowling making money from Harry Potter. This view seems to be more strident from those fan projects that are supported by advertising and publishing deals. I will however raise a fire whiskey to Terrence from Hogwarts Radio:

I just want to rope everybody in… especially us here in the community… if you actually are going to be watching this. I want to challenge you to come into this with an open mind. It’s a very pure story. It’s an exciting new experience, to dive deeper into the magic. We can revisit those bonds and the relationship with the characters, that we developed and that we fell in love with so many years ago.


  1. I’m struggling mathematically to understand “a decade-long series with each season dedicated to one of the seven books.”

  2. Kelly Loomis says

    I will remain skeptical until I see them. I honestly have to say I grit my teeth and always get angry when I watch the films (which is not very often). I can be hopeful that with closer Rowling control each season will be truer to the novel. So much of her artistry is taken away in film/TV adaptations. Her Strike series also sets me on edge as I watch thinking of everything they have left out that I deem essential (do I sound too much like the many disgruntled fans out there???). The written word/novel is where these stories shine. The audio versions of the novels (both HP and Strike) are so delightful that anything on the screen seems a pale version of the color brought forth in her written words. That is my two cents! (Which is probably all it is worth)

  3. Wayne Stauffer says

    To Chris C’s comment a couple of posts ago on this…
    seems to be WB’s way of refreshing the fatigue with the franchise–the offer of more of the story visually than was kept for the feature films to draw viewers with the hope a more favorable (to viewers) version of the stories.
    and the franchise is more than just the films. It’s also the merchandising and newer wrappers on the books and theme parks and so on. I’m curious about any dropoff in income on those aspects…?

  4. David Llewellyn Dodds says


    Me, too! 12 months x 10 years = 120 months divided by 7 books…. does that mean series-seasons of 17 months, each? – or of varying length adjusted to the varying lengths of the books, or just what?

  5. Louise Freeman says

    “Over the next decade” could mean that the series itself won’t appear for 2-3 year, then run for 7-8 seasons. If they stretch until 10, I would bet that GoF, OotP and DH will be expanded over 2 years.

  6. All true. I do wonder if they plan to split books 5-7 into two seasons. I think those three narratives have clear halfway points that could work. Goblet of Fire on its own is such a good whodunnit from beginning to end, that it would be a hindrance to the narrative to split in half.

    Also, since this article’s posting, Casey Bloys responded directly to the JKR controversies: “J.K. is an executive producer, and her insights will be helpful. We are in the Harry Potter business. The TV show is new and exciting, but we’ve been in the Harry Potter business for 20 years; this isn’t a new decision. We’re comfortable being in the Potter business. J.K. is a very online conversation … It’s very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into. Our priority is what’s onscreen. The Harry Potter story is incredibly affirmative and positive about love and acceptance, and that’s our priority, what’s on the screen.”

    JKR also wrote a statement: “Max’s commitment to preserving the integrity of my books is important to me, and I’m looking forward to being part of this new adaptation which will allow for a degree of depth and detail only afforded by a long-form television series.”

  7. Lisa Oliveto says

    I am so glad they didn’t push JK Rowling out of her own creation. No one wants to truly listen to her. Prove me wrong but listening to the entire podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling. She has nothing against trans people. You see and hear what you want. I am so disappointed in my fellow liberals who have done this to her. Long live Harry Potter and the beloved author!

  8. Brian Basore says

    Ten years can pass quickly if she enjoys what she’s doing, both for her and the audience. Here’s hoping for the best.

Speak Your Mind