In news that presumably saw the internet’s various TV editors reach for the slightly smaller bottles of bourbon for once, the planners behind Disney+ reportedly revealed at this weekend’s D23 expo that, counter to the Netflix model it’s establishing itself in opposition to, the streaming service will not be dropping its various TV shows in massive, binge-worthy dumps. Instead, series like The Mandalorian, The World According To Jeff Goldblum, and the various MCU-based shows will release on a weekly basis, just like the dinosaurs did.
It’s not hard to see why Disney might go this route—and not just because, to paraphrase a once-great show recently absorbed into the “Small World” hive mind, it’s a terrible strain on a TV recapper’s wrist. Disney+ is banking on its original, exclusive content to be one of its biggest subscriber draws, and for that to happen, these don’t just need to be shows; they’ve gotta be events. Back when binge seasons were new, you could count on the release of a new season of House Of Cards or Orange Is The New Black to drive conversations online for at least a week, but as the pace of releases has picked up—and people’s responses have normalized, resulting in more delayed viewing—it’s actually split the ability to talk about a lot of these shows with your peers. By falling back to a weekly model, Disney+ gets that regular bump of anticipation and interest, while still allowing newcomers to quickly catch up.
From reports by folks who were at D23—including TVLine—this sounds like it’s going to be the model for most of the service’s shows, at least initially. Time will only tell if this revolutionary “weekly TV” strategy will actually hold up.