Ben Sherwood, President of Disney-ABC Television Group, confirmed upwards of 8,000 ABC TV episodes for the new Disney streaming service. Sherwood further affirmed that his division would be the largest content contributor to the new service, which is expected to launch sometime in 2019.
Speculation has been running hot and heavy on precisely what content Disney’s new and thus far unnamed streaming service will have to offer viewers over Hulu and Netflix. While it was presumed that the new service would include access to older ABC and Disney properties, the precise scope of that digital library was unknown until now. It was also unknown just what new content, if any, the service would have to offer viewers.
Variety reported on Sherwood’s comments, which were delivered as part of a speech at Variety’s Entertainment Summit at CES 2018. “We’re going through this unbelievable moment of transformation in how we take television and distribute it,” Sherwood proclaimed before elaborating on how people still watch the same amount of television even if the means through which they do so is changing.
“People sometimes mistake watching the television on the wall for television as distribution. There are lots of different ways to distribute the best content… If we continue to make great stuff, we’ll be able to get our fair share of that.”
Despite earlier reports that new TV series based on the Star Wars and Marvel Comics universes were a given, Sherwood was tight-lipped on specifics regarding what new content the Disney streaming service might offer. Sherwood confirmed that the original content for the service would include 3-4 feature-length films and 3-4 regular series. There is no word on if any of the films or series will be animated but Sherwood did confirm that one of the new series would be a High School Musical reboot, created under the supervision of the original movies’ producers.
The question of what Marvel Comics based content the new Disney service might offer seems to have seized the majority of online buzz regarding the new service. Doubtlessly Marvel fans everywhere are anxious given that DC Comics’ new streaming service has already confirmed a third season of Young Justice and a new Titans series and is scheduled to become available in 2018.
It hasn’t helped matters that ABC is not developing any new Marvel properties this year and the status of the various series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that were originally produced at Netflix is up in the air. Marvel’s Runaways, produced for Hulu, was recently confirmed for a second season but that’s cold comfort for budget-conscious fans who wonder just how many services they will have to subscribe to in order to see all the comic book shows set in their favorite universe.
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