7 Reasons to Mourn Cinemax Originals (VIDEOS)

Dan Clarendon
Cinemax Original Series
Cinemax

Cinemax is getting out of the original programming game. The premium cable network, a sister to HBO, will no longer commission new television shows now that parent companies Home Box Office and WarnerMedia are gearing up to unleash the streaming platform HBO Max.

“I think you can expect there won’t be any more Cinemax Originals being produced going forward,” Kevin Reilly, HBO Max’s chief content officer, told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on January 15, per TVLine. “I think they’re seeing out the shows that are already on there, but we’re not going to produce those, per se.”

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The list of shows entering their endgames includes beloved comedies, sci-fi cult faves, and hard-hitting action dramas.

That news — coupled with the announcement from Michael Quigley, executive vice president of content acquisitions and strategy for HBO Max, that the execs are “not planning to bring the Cinemax content” to the new platform — throws a wrench in the plans for a second season of Warrior, which was renewed back in April.

But the decision also means that TV fans will lose a destination for edgy, action-packed dramas. Cinemax hasn’t produced much original content — focusing more on theatrically-released movies and co-produced programming — but the shows it did air over the past decade won many admirers. The seven series below are proof enough that prove the loss of Cinemax originals is a loss indeed.

Banshee

Led by Antony Starr playing an ex-con who assumes the identity of an Amish town’s murdered sheriff, the crime drama — produced by True Blood and Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball — set record ratings for Cinemax when it debuted in 2013.

The Knick

The Peabody Award-winning 2014 drama — starring Clive Owen as a surgeon at a struggling 1900s New York City hospital — boasted Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh as a director and executive producer. “The Knick isn’t merely good,” wrote Newsday’s Verne Gay, “but clinically, historically (even sociologically) interesting.”

Outcast

Robert Kirkman co-created the comic series Outcast and developed it into this 2016 series, a horror drama with Patrick Fugit portraying a man struggling with demonic possession. “Outcast is great horror television, regardless of how you feel about creator Robert Kirkman or that other show of his, The Walking Dead,” observed CinemaBlend’s Nick Venable.

Quarry

Lasting just eight episodes, this 2016 drama starred Logan Marshall-Green who stars as a Marine roped into a life of crime upon his return to Memphis from Vietnam and featured “the best production design work since Mad Men ended,” per IndieWire’s Ben Travers.

Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus

King of the Hill and Silicon Valley co-creator Mike Judge created this 2017 animated documentary series, each season of which presented oral histories of musicians of a different genre.

Warrior

Andrew Koji stars in this 2019 action drama about the 1870s San Francisco Tong Wars. Jonathan Tropper, Justin Lin, and Shannon Lee developed the series around a project that famed martial artist Bruce Lee, Shannon’s father, shopped around nearly 50 years ago.

Jett

Sebastian Gutiérrez created this 2019 drama, with his wife, actress Carla Gugino, playing a world-class thief forced back into a life of crime after her release from prison. “Jett invites everybody to vicariously revel in the story’s sensual power and how the title character moves with it,” wrote Salon’s Melanie McFarland.