hbo max most popular show

HBO Max launched to much fanfare last week with one of the most impressive catalogues for any new streaming service. From critically acclaimed HBO series like Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, to the coveted streaming powerhouse Friends, to the entire Studio Ghibli filmography, it seemed like any movie or show could win the honor of being the most popular HBO Max title.

But the most popular show on HBO Max wasn’t Game of Thrones or anything targeted towards adults. Instead, the kids won out, with Looney Tunes Cartoons becoming the most in-demand show on HBO Max. The No. 2 most popular show? The Not-Too-Late-Show With Elmo. Yes, it’s safe to say that the kids are all right.

Remember when HBO Max shelled out millions of dollars for the streaming rights to Friends, the wildly popular sitcom that was topped Netflix’s most watched lists for years? Well, Friends wasn’t even the most-watched show on HBO Max in the first week since the streaming service’s launch. Instead, Looney Tunes Cartoons, the new remake of the classic animated series, took the cake. Gee, ain’t that a stinker?

Bloomberg reports that Looney Tunes Cartoons was the most in-demand show when AT&T’s HBO Max service debuted on May 27, according to Parrot Analytics, a firm that gauges how popular TV shows are based on social media, fan ratings and piracy. Following closely behind in second place was The Not-Too-Late-Show With Elmo, a riff on the talk show hosted by the beloved Sesame Street character.

So far, it seems like HBO Max has succeeded in cornering the family market, which Netflix has had a pretty firm grip on in the past few years with its family content and abundance of acclaimed animated shows. But with a classic property like Looney Tunes — and a reboot that apparently captures the spirit of the original with panache — it seems like HBO Max is building itself up to be a strong competitor.

But HBO Max still has a long way to go with its original titles, which have failed to drum up quite the buzz that Netflix Originals have been able to. The Anna Kendrick-starring comedy Love Life, its most popular new show for adults, has overtaken Elmo as the second-hottest new series on HBO Max in recent days, but isn’t nearly close to watercooler status as Disney+’s The Mandalorian or most other Netflix shows. Parrot Analytics reports that even Apple TV+’s shows For All Mankind and Dickinson saw more buzz than Love Life — which is a little sad considering the underwhelming reception to Apple’s streaming service.

HBO Max is going to need to step up its game if it’s going to hope to compete with streaming giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and strong newcomers like Disney+. So far the rollout has been less than ideal, with the lack of 4K resolutions and a confusing subscription process for current HBO subscribers. But AT&T reportedly hopes to lure new subscribers with new original programs, which HBO Max plans to rollout in the dozens at a pace akin to Netflix’s rapid-fire releases. For now, that’s all folks.

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