Trade Week rolls on as we suggest trades streaming video outlets could make involving the vintage shows that they currently control and/or have available on demand. We have a big swap today that steps outside our time frame a bit.
First, though, remember my Seinfeld trade the other day, when I wrote that I didn't see the show popping up on any most-watched Netflix shows list? Well, this morning I saw this in my podcast feed, an episode of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood.
Well, I still think it was a cool trade!
Today: HBO Max trades The Nanny and Head of the Class to Tubi for Batman, The New Adventures of Batman, and Superman (1988).
Did you know that the famed 1966 Batman had been streaming free for quite some time? It's on Tubi and FreeVee (formerly IMDB TV), but I bet many people who would be interested in watching it have no idea. Now, I have the neato Blu-Ray set and haven't been watching the show on streaming, so I can't vouch for the versions that are available, but they are there, and they are FREE!
But why? There was a complicated partnership between Fox and Warner Brothers that brought the show to DVD after years of demand. Maybe Fox-owned Tubi's streaming rights are somehow related to that. Yet it's also on FreeVee, and at one point it was on FilmRise, of all places! My point here is that the series belongs elsewhere.
Yes, it's time to bring the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder home, and this trade brings the seminal series to HBO MAX, where it can stream alongside Wonder Woman, Super Friends, and tons of other DC-related movies and television episodes. I think in the spirit of good bat-digital citizenship, WarnerDiscoveryWhatever could get the series without giving up the whole bat, uh, back catalog.
Head of the Class seems to be available for no burning reason now that the reboot tanked. It would be a good fit on Tubi. The Nanny has less reason for being on MAX. It's a Sony show, so it's something they license, and it boosts their old sitcoms, but...it's expendable. Tubi seems to love the show, as it's been there for a while, yet it doesn't love it enough to license more than a few seasons at once. HBO MAX takes a less thrifty approach. This trade gives Tubi the whole series!
Tubi "throws in" two series that it isn't even streaming right now but did last year: Filmation's iThe New Adventures of Batman cartoon and the 1988 Ruby-Spears Superman cartoon. Warners has a habit of licensing series out for very short runs, and this is yet another example. Tubi had these at one point, without much fanfare, and then they were gone soon afterwards. This stuff belongs on HBO alongside the other DC material. What are you waiting for, WB?
So this trade puts pieces where they should be; most importantly a huge show in television history and an essential part of DC Comics history goes to HBO MAX. Tubi gets scores of nice, easy sitcom episodes. Toss in some superhero cartoons that are in limbo, and you have a deal!