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Who says there aren’t time slots on streaming?
Disney+ is shifting its original series release dates from Fridays to Wednesdays. The news comes after Marvel’s Loki — which shifted its premiere date from Friday, June 11, to Wednesday, June 9 — became the streamer’s most watched series premiere.
The changes will begin in July and affect all global original series. As such, the premiere dates will shift for original series including the animated Monsters, Inc. show Monsters at Work (July 2 to July 7) and live-action comedy Turner & Hooch (July 16 to July 21), among others. (An updated release schedule is below.)
Sources say the shift is designed to accommodate the increased volume of original content on Disney+. The Wednesday schedule is strictly for original series, including The Mandalorian and other Star Wars and Marvel TV series. Original movies will continue to bow on Fridays on the streamer.
The change means that Disney+ TV series and original films will no longer have to compete with one another for subscribers’ attention. It also moves Disney+ original series away from Netflix, which historically has launched entire seasons of shows on Fridays. Disney+ continues to focus on a weekly release schedule versus Netflix’s binge model.
Shows including The Mandalorian, High School Musical, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier previously launched on Fridays and had to compete for weekend attention with originals on other streaming platforms. The June 11 premiere schedule offered a good example of such competition as Netflix bowed part two of its global hit Lupin; Disney-owned Hulu launched the second season of its Love, Simon sequel, Love, Victor; and Apple launched the sophomore run of drama Home Before Dark. Loki bowed out of that race and launched two days earlier against no other major launches.
Release schedule patterns have begun to emerge now that the major media conglomerates each have a streaming service up and running. Netflix has historically had its flag on Fridays — a slot long considered to be a death sentence for linear networks — with Amazon also following suit. Hulu, which varies between weekly and binge releases, sees originals bow on Wednesdays (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Fridays (Nine Perfect Strangers), though originals from FX and next-day offerings mean the platform has a steady flow of new arrivals. HBO Max and Peacock, which both launched in 2020, have moved in on Thursdays — the typical premiere date for Paramount+ — with launches including The Flight Attendant, Made for Love, Hacks, Gossip Girl and even the Snyder Cut on the former with Rutherford Falls, Girls5eva at the latter.
Disney+ remains a top priority for Disney. The company forecast its spending on original film and TV series for Disney+ to top $8 billion in fiscal 2024. Amid the streaming wars, Disney has ramped up TV offshoots of its feature film franchises, spending big on building out its live-action Star Wars and Marvel universes as the company has created must-watch programming that has stemmed from its multibillion-dollar global franchises.
Disney+ has nearly a dozen TV shows in the works from both Marvel and Lucasfilm, on top of a slate that includes other reboots from its feature film franchises like The Mighty Ducks, National Treasure, The Sandlot, Swiss Family Robinson, Willow, Doogie Howser, National Treasure and Beauty and the Beast. The streamer is also building a Disney-themed franchise that draws from its theme parks and vast character library on top of other original series like Big Shot and Hulu transfer The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Here’s the updated list of premiere date changes:
- Monsters at Work from July 2 to July 7
- Turner & Hooch from July 16 to July 21
- Behind the Attraction from July 16 to July 21
- Chip ‘n’ Dale: Park Life from July 23 to July 28
- Turning the Tables With Robin Roberts from July 30 to July 28
- The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse batch two from July 30 to July 28
- Growing Up Animal from Aug. 20 to Aug. 18
- Short Circuit season two from July 30 to Aug. 4
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