Show of hands: How many of you signed up for Disney+ ahead of its launch last November? Okay, now: How many of you are still subscribed to Disney+ now that the first season of The Mandalorian is over? We can’t actually see you, but we’ll go ahead and guess that a fair amount of you canceled your subscriptions—and understandably so, given that Disney hasn’t exactly fulfilled its initial promise. The uploading of new content (both original titles and classics from the Vault) has been slow going, and of the original offerings available, only a couple have stood out (Baby Yoda show included). All of which is to say that THR’s latest report, which reveals that one of Bob Iger’s new goals is to “fix” Disney+, isn’t very surprising.
The lengthy piece goes behind the scenes of the streaming newcomer, which has had trouble establishing a strong identity for itself beyond the basic Disney branding. And as it turns out, a Disney product will make plenty of money, but it hasn’t exactly made much in the way of “good” entertainment. Per THR’s report, Disney+ “has more than 50 scripted shows and some 50 unscripted shows in development,” which seems both wildly ambitious and potentially ill-advised. Three original titles were scrapped, including the previously announced Muppets Live Another Day from Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis, and Josh Gad; Book Of Enchantment, which would’ve featured Disney villains; and a new Tron adaptation from American Crime’s John Ridley, which wasn’t made public until now (and is probably the biggest downer of the bunch, depending on how you feel about Tron).
Other recent hiccups include the Lizzie McGuire revival, which was already in production when creator and showrunner Terri Minsky exited the series in January over creative differences with the studio. That discord arose from the revival’s exploration of more mature storylines and themes, leading star Hillary Duff to publicly implore the company to move the series over to Hulu—as it had with High Fidelity and Love, Simon. Disney’s nebulous guidelines for family-friendly content are undoubtedly a factor; the mature language, content, and occasional violence of The Simpsons is seemingly permitted because it’s a cartoon series (though the real reason probably has more to do with the fact that the title is a significant draw for subscribers).
Just last month, Bob Iger announced he is stepping down from his longtime post as CEO of Disney and transitioning to the role of executive chairman. In his new position, Iger says he will focus on “getting everything right creatively,” which we’re sure will work out beautifully, and we look forward to enjoying the influx of flawless content on Disney+ in the near future.