HBO Series to Run on Cable Network

Starting next month, HBO's acclaimed series Insecure will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The comedy series starring Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji will make its OWN debut on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET, and will continue airing two episodes per week in that time slot. This allowance for an off-network broadcast is rare even among similar deals for HBO.

Rae co-created Insecure with Larry Wilmore, and the series premiered in the fall of 2016. It ran for five seasons and aired its finale in 2021. According to a report by Deadline, HBO has decided to license it to air on OWN in spite of a unique agreement with Rae. Her contract stipulates that the show cannot be edited in any way except to add commercial breaks. That means it will air on OWN exactly as it aired on HBO.

By contrast, other HBO series that ran on basic cable have been heavily edited for wider audiences. HBO reportedly began pursuing off-network broadcasts more heavily about a decade ago, allowing edited versions of Sex and the City to air on TBS and E!, Curb Your Enthusiasm to air on the TV Guide Channel, Entourage to air on Spike and The Sopranos to air on A&E. Other deals followed, but none have come with Rae's strict control of the content itself.

Sources familiar with the deal said that the only change to Insecure on OWN will be a title card shown after each commercial break. It will come with a warning about the content of the show, approved by Standards & Practices. Insecure deals with a lot of relationship drama, meaning there is some sexual content in the show as well as plenty of explicit language.

Since Insecure is meant to reflect the experience of Black Americans, this move will likely help it reach its target audience more directly since OWN reportedly has a greater Black audience than HBO. At the same time, OWN and HBO both fall under the parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, meaning that this is a synergistic, internal deal in a way.

Insecure follows two young women Issa (Rae) and Molly (Orji) living together in South Los Angeles, California. Friends since their undergraduate college days, they now try to navigate their careers and romantic lives as best they can. other stars include Jay Ellis as Issa's boyfriend Martin, Lisa Joyce as Frieda, Natasha Rothwell as Kelly, Amanda Seales as Tiffany, Y'lan Noel as Daniel, Alexander Hodge as Andrew, Kendrick Sampson as Nathan, Leonard Robinson as Taurean and Courtney Taylor as Sequoia.

Insecure premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on OWN. The whole series is streaming now on HBO Max.