11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Mysterious Benedict Society,' Starring Tony Hale, Moves From Hulu to Disney+
Disney continues to play musical chairs with its TV series.
The conglomerate announced Friday that Tony Hale-led YA drama The Mysterious Benedict Society will move from Hulu, where it was originally developed, to Disney+. Based on the best-selling book series by Trenton Lee and co-starring Kristen Schaal, the eight-episode series will debut in 2021.
Picked up straight to series in September 2019, Hale (Veep) stars in the series about a group of orphans who must foil a nefarious plot with global ramifications while creating a family along the way. Mysterious Benedict Society becomes the latest scripted series from within the Disney fold to change platforms. It joins Love, Victor and High Fidelity (which both moved from Disney+ to Hulu) and The Right Stuff (National Geographic Channel to Disney+).
It's worth noting that Love, Victor earned a second season at Hulu, while streamer shockingly axed the well-reviewed High Fidelity. Hulu is considered the more adult-leaning of Disney's two central streaming services. Disney+ bills itself as a home for family-friendly fare as well as all things Marvel and Star Wars. The import bolsters the scripted pipeline for Disney+, which even before the pandemic, was experiencing growing pains.
"The Mysterious Benedict Society is a beautifully executed adaptation of the celebrated and beloved book series. It’s original, clever and fun for the whole family, which makes it the perfect fit for Disney+,” said Walt Disney TV entertainment chairman Dana Walden. "One of the great benefits to creators working with our company is that we have a platform that’s right for every series, and having seen the first few episodes of this show, there is no better home for it than Disney+."
Such moves are increasingly becoming the norm as media giants like Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal shuffle the decks and consolidate resources as they ramp up and prioritize their respective streaming services. All three conglomerates have seen multiple shows change homes in the past few years.
Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (Ride Along) created the series. Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer serve as showrunners. The series is a co-production between Sonar Entertainment and Disney's 20th TV. Jamie Tarses and Karen Kehela Sherwood also exec produce. The cast includes Ryan Hurst, MaameYaa Boafo, Gia Sandhu, Seth Carr, Emmy DeOliveira, Mystic Inscho and Marta Timofeeva.