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Two years after The Hollywood Reporter first revealed plans for a Mighty Ducks TV series, the news is official.
Disney+ has tapped Gilmore Girls favorite Lauren Graham and Good Boys breakout Brady Noon to star in a new, 10-episode, half-hour comedy take on The Mighty Ducks.
The series is set in present-day Minnesota, where the Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey team. After 12-year-old Evan (Noon) is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom, Alex (Graham), set out to build their own ragtag team of misfits to challenge the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of competitive youth sports. Production is set to begin this month in Vancouver for a premiere late this year.
The project is being produced by ABC Signature Studios, with The Mighty Ducks creator Steve Brill returning as co-creator and executive producer of the new series. Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa (13 Going on 30, The King of Queens) are set as co-creators and showrunners. James Griffiths and Michael Spiller will exec produce, with the former set to direct. Graham, who currently stars on NBC’s critical darling Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, will be credited as a co-exec producer. George Heller and Brad Petrigala of Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jordan Kerner will also exec produce.
As The Hollywood Reporter reported, ABC Signature Studios head Tracy Underwood, always looking to identify Disney titles and intellectual property that can appeal to a global audience, put Mighty Ducks in development after being approached by original trilogy screenwriter Brill and original producer Kerner.
The Mighty Ducks was released in 1992 by Walt Disney Pictures. Produced on a budget of $10 million, the Stephen Herek-directed movie starred Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay, a Minneapolis attorney who winds up coaching a peewee hockey team as community service after a drunk-driving arrest. Despite negative reviews from critics, the film went on to become a box office hit, grossing $50.7 million domestically. That led to two sequels — 1994’s D2: The Mighty Ducks (with Estevez) and 1996’s D3: The Mighty Ducks, which was built around original film star Josh Jackson’s Charlie Conway. They grossed $45.6 million and $22.9 million, respectively, with the success of the first feature inspiring producers Disney to name Anaheim’s 1993 NHL expansion team after the franchise.
This is the second time The Mighty Ducks has been explored for the small screen. An animated series was launched in 1996 on ABC and as part of its syndicated programming block The Disney Afternoon. The 26-episode series last aired on Toon Disney in 2004.
The Mighty Ducks is the latest title from Disney’s deep roster of IP to be adapted for the streaming service as Disney+ leans hard into proven titles in a bid to draw subscribers. Disney+’s TV series roster includes a new take on Turner & Hooch and multiple Star Wars and Marvel titles, as well as High School Musical, The Sandlot, Lizzie McGuire and Love, Simon.
Graham’s casting will not impact Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. In the Peak TV era, many in-demand stars are juggling multiple projects concurrently. Her credits include Parenthood and Disney Junior’s animated series Vampirina. Graham is repped by ICM Partners and John Carrabino Management.
Noon, meanwhile, broke out in last year’s Good Boys and counts HBO’s Boardwalk Empire among his credits. He next stars in Marry Me. Noon is repped by Gersh and Marilyn Zitner Management.
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