8:15am PT by Michael O'Connell
Disney+ Unveils New Unscripted Slate, Including a Revival of 'The Quest'
Disney+ is adding to its growing unscripted slate, announcing four new projects — including orders for competition The Maze, natural docuseries Meet the Chimps and a serialized look at the making of Pixar’s SparkShorts program, as well as development on a reboot of reality competition The Quest.
News of the foursome was announced ahead of a Disney+ panel at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans.
“These projects take people on epic adventures, immerse them in fantastical worlds and shine a light on extraordinary people and creatures, which are all important benchmarks of our Disney+ nonfiction content philosophy,” said Disney+ content senior vp Agnes Chu. “We are thrilled that we get to bring the groundbreaking The Quest back to life, and can’t wait for people to discover The Maze, our special subjects in Meet the Chimps and the innovation and wonder of making Pixar’s SparkShorts.”
The Mandalorian and, more specifically, Baby Yoda have dominated much of the conversation around the early Disney+ originals push, but the platform did launch with an ambitious roster of unscripted programming. The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Kristen Bell-produced Encore! and Marvel's Hero Project were among those on the platform when it launched Nov. 12 of last year.
As for the new efforts, The Quest hales from Court Five, Scout Productions and New Media Collective. The original series, which aired for just one season on ABC over summer 2014, was a combination of live-action role-playing and traditional reality competition. Like the original, the reboot will be filmed at a castle outside Vienna — though, this time, the cast will be made up of teenagers. The original The Quest was well-reviewed but struggled to find an audience on the broadcast network.
The Maze also hales from Bertram van Munster’s New Media Collective. It follows five teams, each consisting of one adult and one teen relative, as they solve riddles and puzzles on a journey through European cities.
Like The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Meet the Chimps will fall into Disney+’s National Geographic bucket. The six-part docuseries takes place at one of the largest and most unique wildlife sanctuaries in the world, Chimp Haven, a 200-acre refuge that’s tucked into… ural Louisiana. It’s produced by Blink Films.
The untitled Pixar series is another Disney+ offering from Chef’s Table producers Supper Club, which inked a two-year pact with the streamer ahead of its launch. It will follow a group of Pixar employees tapped to make their own animated short films under the studio’s SparkShorts program.