Disney, now flush with assets after its $71.3 billion Fox asset buy, is beginning the process of shuffling its scripted decks.
High Fidelity, the female-led reboot of the Nick Hornby novel and subsequent feature film, is moving from its original planned home on the forthcoming streaming service Disney+ to Hulu.
The dramedy starring Zoe Kravitz was poised to be among the original series featured on Disney+, the rival direct-to-consumer platform to Netflix that is expected to launch in the fourth quarter. The 10-episode dramedy will now be featured on Hulu, which is now majority owned by Disney (after the company bought Fox’s stake in the platform).
High Fidelity is described as a reimagining of the 2000 movie and 1995 book but told from a female point of view. Kravitz (Big Little Lies) takes on the role originally played by John Cusack in the film and will play the ultimate music fan and record store owner who is obsessed with pop culture and top-five lists. Kravitz is the daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, the latter of whom played Cusack’s ex-girlfriend Marie DeSalle in the original film. Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka created the High Fidelity TV series and will executive produce alongside Zoe Kravitz and Midnight Radio’s Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg.
“Developing High Fidelity with Zoe, Veronica, Sarah and the team at Midnight Radio has been incredibly exciting and we want to ensure they are able to make the show they are envisioning as Disney+ is dedicated to supporting our creative partners,” Agnes Chu, senior vp content at Disney+, said Tuesday in a statement. “To that end, as the series’ creative evolved, our Disney+ team, collectively with [producers] ABC Signature, recognized that the show would be better suited for another platform. Given Disney’s equity stake in Hulu, we’re happy High Fidelity will continue as part of our extended family.”
That Disney would begin to rearrange its programming offerings comes as little surprise. The media behemoth acquired FX, National Geographic, studio 20th Century Fox TV and Fox’s stake in Hulu as part of its $71.3 billion acquisition. Disney, slated to unveil details about Disney+ on Thursday, now has streaming assets in its own service, Hulu and FX’s platform. Its move to realign scripted originals follows a similar effort by Viacom in its bid to bolster cablers including Paramount Network (formerly Spike), MTV, BET and more. The Viacom brands have shuffled several series from one network to another (and back, in the case of TV Land favorite Younger).
“Hulu is home to stories that tap into pop culture and redefine genres, so we jumped at the opportunity to bring a seminal work like High Fidelity into the fold as a Hulu Original. We are over the moon to work with Zoe, Veronica and Sarah to bring viewers this fresh take on an enduring story that has resonated with millions of people over the past two decades,” said Beatrice Springborn, vp content development at Hulu.
High Fidelity will join a Hulu originals slate that also includes The Handmaid’s Tale, Shrill, PEN15, The Act, Castle Rock, Catch-22, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Runaways, Ramy and the upcoming fare Dollface, Little Fires Everywhere, Looking for Alaska, Solar Opposites, Veronica Mars, Wild Cards, The Great and more.
“The entire High Fidelity team is absolutely ecstatic about our move to Hulu and incredibly grateful to ABC Signature and Disney+ for being so supportive of the transition. Once Zoe came onboard and the show began to evolve, it quickly became clear we may be best suited for a different home. Everyone involved locked arms to help make this shift to Hulu, which is the perfect platform to reinvent this beloved timeless property,” the Midnight Radio team said in a joint statement.