WarnerMedia Studios merges Adult Swim and HBO Max’s adult animation development team

Suzanna Makkos

The WarnerMedia Studios and Network group announced on Friday that it has united Adult Swim and HBO Max’s adult animation development team under the leadership of Suzanna Makkos.

Makkos, who was previously the EVP of Original Comedy and Animation for HBO Max, will now be the EVP Original Comedy and Animation for both Adult Swim and HBO Max. She will continue to report to the HBO Max original content head Sarah Aubrey, and will also report to Adult Swim president Michael Ouweleen, on all content developed for Adult Swim on all platforms.

Adult Swim’s development team lead Walter Newman will work and report to Makkos, creating more synergy, expertise, and influence as a combined adult animation team.

The HBO Max original content head Sarah Aubrey said, “The adult animation boom is just starting, and by aligning our strengths and organizing as one, unified, best in class development team we are creating an unmatched, multiplatform destination for both creators and fans.”

Aubrey further added, “Adult Swim has created an iconoclastic adult animation brand, and that identity will not only be preserved but it will also now be further fueled by HBO Max and Suzanna’s talented development leadership.”

Adult Swim president Michael Ouweleen said, “Adult Swim has been the first destination for young adult audiences for more than 15 years and now merging the two best development teams in this business puts Adult Swim at the heart of our company’s future and further strengthens WarnerMedia as the global leader in adult animation.”

He further added, “Walter and the Adult Swim team’s genre-defining work, now under Suzanna’s seasoned expertise, will propel Adult Swim’s development process as we continue to push new boundaries and reach new audiences.”

On sharing her excitement to work for these prestigious brands Makkos said, “It is a true honor to become a steward of this cherished brand. I have long admired Adult Swim’s dedication to animation’s potential for storytelling and to creating truly original content that puts the fans first. I am excited to work with Walter and his talented team as we enter the next chapter!”

Launched in 2001, Adult Swim is the leader in adult animation with Emmy award-winning series such as global phenomenon Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, as well as fan favourites Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse, Final Space, YOLO: Crystal Fantasy and more.

In February, HBO Max announced orders for three new adult animated series including the Scooby-Doo spin-off Velma, a reboot of the vintage MTV show Clone High and Fired on Mars, a new workplace comedy.

Before joining Warner Media in 2019, Makkos spent 20 years at Fox Broadcasting, where she was most recently EVP of Comedy Programming & Development, running the network’s comedy department. She oversaw series such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, The Mindy Project, as well as animated hits Bob’s Burgers, Great North, Son of Zorn, and more.

WarnerMedia announced a reorganization of its divisions in March 2019 that brings many of its subsidiaries and brands – including Otter Media (Ellation, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, VRV), Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang – into a single “Global Kids & Young Adults” unit.