10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Disney+ Unveils Robust Unscripted Slate Featuring Pair of Marvel Docuseries
A day before Disney shares its plans to investors for its streaming service, Disney+ on Wednesday unveiled a robust slate of 10 unscripted series for the forthcoming direct-to-consumer platform, including a pair of Marvel shows.
What's more, Disney+ has also announced its first overall deal — with Supper Club, the team comprised of David Gelb, Brian McGinn and Jason Sterman and which produced the Netflix breakout Chef's Table.
The Supper Club trio will produce two of the 10 food, travel and lifestyle shows for Disney+: Marvel's 616, an anthological docuseries set at the intersection of the comic giant's stories, characters and creators and everyday people; and Earthkeepers, which puts the spotlight on conservationists. The trio will also create and develop content for all Disney platforms.
Joining the slate are the Disney-themed cooking show Be Our Chef; the anthology Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies; the Kristen Bell-produced musical theater/reunion effort Encore!; the kid-focused feel-good series Marvel's Hero Project; the family therapy show (Re)Connect; the travel guide Rogue Trip; the competition foray Shop Class; and an untitled docuseries focused on Walt Disney Imagineering, which chronicles the people behind the attractions at Disney's parks worldwide with never-before-seen footage.
The slate further illustrates speculation that Disney+ would feature originals geared toward family co-viewing with edgier fare living on other platforms. That was the case with the Zoe Kravitz-led reboot of High Fidelity, which was developed for Disney+ but moved to Hulu earlier this week. (Disney now owns a majority stake in Hulu after acquiring Fox's share of the streamer.)
Disney+ is expected to launch in the fourth quarter with a slate of originals that includes content from assets including Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Marvel and Pixar, as well as library fare from new corporate siblings FX and National Geographic joining ABC, Freeform and Disney Channel. In a release announcing the unscripted slate Wednesday, Disney noted that the platform's programming roster would "allow viewers to find the ethos of Disney in everyday stories, inspiring hope and sparking the curiosity of audiences of all ages."
In terms of the exclusive overall deal with Supper Club, Disney+ senior vp content Agnes Chu said the trio would "be a crucial, creative force" for Disney+ as it "build[s] a platform for compelling, personal and authentic programming." The pact marks Disney+'s entry into the super-competitive overall deals space, which was ignited after Netflix signed Shonda Rhimes to a $100 million overall deal after the Grey's Anatomy creator had time remaining on her pact with Disney-owned ABC Studios (her home of 15 years). Friction between Netflix and Disney has escalated over the past couple years after the streamer poached both talent and executives. (Netflix most recently inked yet another key creative away from Disney Channel after seeing former ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey depart for a content job with the streamer and showrunners like Kenya Barris also jump ship.)
Additional details about Disney+ plans are expected to be revealed Thursday afternoon during an investor presentation in Burbank. A slew of announcements are expected to come in both the lead-up to the webcast event as well as during the unveiling. Details still to be revealed include a price point, a formal launch date and just how its initial content offerings will be released. Also of interest is how Disney plans to bundle its multiple streaming platforms, including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, with new assets including FX Now.
Below is a closer look at the first unscripted slate for Disney+. Additional details, including premiere dates and episode counts, have yet to be determined. Click here to see the scripted TV and film projects already in the works at Disney+.
Marvel's 616 (working title) is an anthological documentary series exploring the intersection between Marvel's rich legacy of stories, characters and creators and the world outside your window. Told through the lens of a diverse group of filmmakers, each doc will dive into the rich historical, cultural and societal context that has become inseparable from stories of the Marvel Universe. The series is produced by Marvel New Media in partnership with Supper Club, and executive produced by Joe Quesada, Stephen Wacker, Shane Rahmani, John Cerilli, Harry Go and Sarah Amos for Marvel and David Gelb, Brian McGinn and Jason Sterman for Supper Club.
Earthkeepers (working title) is from the award-winning creators of Chef's Table and the producers of One Lucky Elephant. It is a cinematic documentary series that centers on the adventurous lives of the people changing the way we see the animal kingdom. The episodes focus on conservationists and the animals they've devoted their career to studying, diving deep into the personal trials and professional breakthroughs of protecting the planet's most endangered species. The series is executive produced by Brian McGinn, Jason Sterman and David Gelb for Supper Club and Cristina Colissimo and Jordana Glick-Franzheim for Wellworth Pictures.
Be Our Chef asks the question: What if your family had the chance to create the next great Disney Parks dish? Hosted by Angela Kinsey (The Office), Be Our Chef invites families from diverse backgrounds to join a positive and playful Disney-inspired cooking competition at Walt Disney World. In each episode, two families will participate in a themed challenge based on their family traditions and the magic of Disney. The finalists will apply what they have learned to create a dish that represents their family through a Disney lens. The winner's magical food creation will become a signature dish or treat served at Walt Disney World. Be Our Chef is produced by INE Entertainment, with Eric Day and Mark Koops serving as producers.
Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (working title) is an anthology series that takes a unique look at beloved films through the props and costumes (now modern "artifacts") that made them unique — from the craftspeople who created them, the actors who interacted with them and the collectors/archives who own and cherish them. The show will be hosted by film historian/collector Dan Lanigan. Among the films featured in the first eight episodes are Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Mary Poppins, The Muppet Movie, Tron and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The seris is produced by ABC Studios and executive produced by Jason Henry and Dan Lanigan.
Encore! is from executive producer Kristen Bell (The Good Place), who brings together former castmates of a high school musical, tasking them with re-creating their original performance in a high school reunion like no other. Emotions run high as the former students face faded friendships, former flames, self-doubt and killer choreography. Through it all, these unlikely groups of friends — with the help of Broadway's best — just might pull off a standing-ovation-worthy performance of beloved musicals like The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, Annie and more. Encore! was created by Jason Cohen and is executive produced by Cohen, Bell, Alycia Rossiter, Will Gluck, Richard Schwartz, Jim Roush and Chris Wagner.
Marvel's Hero Project reveals the remarkable, positive change several young heroes are making in their own communities. These inspiring kids have dedicated their lives to selfless acts of bravery and kindness, and now, Marvel celebrates them as the true super heroes they are. Produced by Marvel New Media in partnership with Maggievision Productions. Executive produced by Joe Quesada, Stephen Wacker, Shane Rahmani, Liza Wyles and Sarah Amos for Marvel and Maura Mandt and John Hirsch for MaggieVision Productions.
(Re)Connect features, in each episode, one family with a modern day, relatable issue that's driving a wedge between them. Issues range from workaholic parents, overly competitive siblings, technology addiction or a family secret that has recently been revealed. All of these families have reached a breaking point, and it's time for them to disconnect from their busy lives, devices and outside influences in order to address their issues head-on. With the help of a specialized expert, each family will go on a unique journey that organically ties to the issues they are facing in order to confront the family's dilemma head-on. Can they finally come together as a family to overcome their obstacles … and reconnect? Produced by Milojo Productions and Talos Films. Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa and Albert Bianchini of Milojo Productions, and Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami of Talos Films serve as executive producers.
Rogue Trip is a travel guide to all the places the average tourist is least likely to venture — the roguish, often misunderstood and frequently overlooked corners of the world whose hidden corners surprise, amaze and inspire. This is the family vacation most of us are unlikely to take — but can do so vicariously with the intrepid Bob Woodruff and his 27-year-old doppelgänger son, Mack. Executive produced by Jeanmarie Condon and Mack and Bob Woodruff for Lincoln Square Productions.
Shop Class (working title) is a competition series that features teams of inventive students who are tasked with designing, building and testing new contraptions. In each episode, a panel of experts will rate their work based on engineering, design and the final test of the build. In the last episode, one team will be named Shop Class Champs. John Stevens and Spike Feresten of Hangar 56 Media and Richard Rawlings of Production Monkey are producing.
Untitled Walt Disney Imagineering documentary series chronicles the 65-year-plus history of Walt Disney Imagineering with parallel storylines of the people, the craft and the business. Created by Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated director and producer Leslie Iwerks, the project includes exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage from Disney's parks around the world. Produced by Iwerks & Co. and directed by Leslie Iwerks.