HBO Opens Its Vaults for Free Access to 500 Hours of Shows to Coronavirus-Weary Americans

FILE – In this Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 file photo, Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room with her awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series for “Veep” at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Louis-Dreyfus is back at work on “Veep” and says it feels “fantastic.” The star of the HBO comedy series revealed last September that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The news came soon after her sixth consecutive Emmy win for the role of Selina Meyer. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

 

If you’ve already depleted your Netflix queue or gotten your fill of “Tiger King” (or if you’re like Rush Limbaugh and don’t get what the big deal is), there’s some good news for Americans suffering from the coronavirus blues.

Cable giant HBO has opened its vaults for free access to 500 hours of ad-free, tv and movie content to U.S. viewers for a limited time, which the network calls #StayHomeBoxOffice, Variety reports. And the list includes the full seasons for some familiar titles: “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Veep,” “True Blood,” “Six Feet Under,” and more:

The content also includes 20 Warner Brothers movies and documentaries, including family fare like “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” and Emmy-nominated documentary, “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley.”

Starting Friday, April 3rd, the content began streaming on both HBO Go and HBO Now — no strings attached.

But, as with most things, there’s a small catch: this bonanza doesn’t include shows like “Game of Thrones” or Emmy and Golden Globe winner “Chernobyl” — and for good reason.

They’re among the series that have propelled HBO’s recent viewing numbers. Variety reports that, according to WarnerMedia, many viewers cooped up under COVID-19, stay-at-home orders have used some of that free time to tune in. From March 14-24, streaming of HBO Now jumped more than 40 percent over the previous four weeks.

There is at least one pleasant surprise in the offer: the inclusion of Bill Hader’s critically-acclaimed Emmy winner, “Barry.” The program is slated to begin its third season in 2020.

While HBO’s offerings haven’t yet rolled out to its partner streaming platforms, like Roku, they should in the coming days, Variety’s Todd Spangler reported in a follow-up piece Friday.

Back in mid-March (which, honestly, feels like a year ago), RedState’s Alex Parker revealed that Pornhub, the world’s largest porn website, decided to help out beleaguered Italians with some free entertainment content. But that’s a whole other story.

You can find the full listing of HBO’s free content here.

Becca Lower
Becca Lower is a writer with RedState and formerly worked at IJR.com as a writer and editor. She grew up outside Cincinnati, OH, in former Speaker John Boehner's district, and currently lives in Mesa, AZ.

Find her on Twitter at @BeccaJLower. Direct all tips/marriage proposals: [email protected]
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