Disney buying Fox has some serious superhero implications. And not just for movies, but TV as well: it could see the end of Gotham.
Though it's only been a relatively short amount of time since the potential for a Disney takeover of 20th Century Fox was announced, fans and industry pundits have already been forecasting what the future will look like for a number of major IPs. Although everything from Avatar and Alien to The Simpsons and Family Guy will now move under the Disney umbrella, the key discussion has focused on Marvel Studios gaining the rights to the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool.
Related: Disney Didn’t Buy Fox for the X-Men
Disney has already made it clear that the X-Men and Fantastic Four will come to the MCU at some point and has assured fans that Deadpool will remain Rated-R. Meanwhile, Avatar, The Simpsons, and other big money makers are unlikely to go anywhere under the new leadership. But in all the discussions surrounding the deal, there's been little talk of what will happen to shows not produced by the Fox network: Gotham, Lucifer, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Lethal Weapon.
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Right off the bat, it's worth clearing up something: Disney does not own every show on Fox. The deal made gives the Walt Disney Company ownership of everything 20th Century Fox owns, leaving Fox with its various news, sports, and reality programming. They'll also keep the Fox network, as Disney already owns the rival ABC. But much of the scripted content on the Fox network is now under Disney's purview and its fate is what's up in the air.
Outside of what Disney purchased, however, Fox is home to Gotham, Lucifer, and Lethal Weapon, all of which are produced and owned by Warner Bros. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is also not included in the purchase thanks to Universal owning it. So while Disney could theoretically cancel nearly every scripted show on Fox, those four would remain safe. Or, at least, safe from anyone but Fox.
The point of Fox giving up so many of its lucrative assets naturally comes with a hefty payday, but it will also allow the company to double-down on news and sports. These realms have been far more beneficial to the Fox bottom line, and it's said that the network will begin almost exclusively producing content in these areas. What's still unknown, however, is whether the Fox network will continue airing any scripted content. In the short term, this confusion may prove beneficial to the shows in question.
It will take some time for the deal to go through regulatory hurdles, and even then Fox may have to completely rework and rebrand their network with hours of additional content. In that chasm, Gotham, Lucifer, Lethal Weapon, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will all remain cornerstones of the broadcast giant and seem destined to secure at least one more season each. Though they're not massive hits, they all have a dedicated audience and name recognition, and will remain the main shows that Fox can depend on as the network - and fans - wait to see what Disney will do with everything else.
The immediate future of most shows on Fox is probably safe considering plans are in place for new seasons. Not to mention, The Simpsons and Family Guy are too popular for Disney to merely dispense with. As for The Gifted, its Marvel status will likely keep it running a little while longer (that worked for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). But a number of other series are less secure in the merger, meaning Fox will want to hang on to everything it can.
There's still the question of where, though. Disney's acquisition of FX could mean the cable channel will become the future home of certain Fox content that Disney decides to keep, or it could all move to Hulu which the media giant now own a majority stake in. But even if the four Fox shows are given an additional season, the future of the network leaves their long-term prospects up in the air still. It's in that void of uncertainty that The CW or Netflix could step up to the plate.
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