Disney+ Cancels Eight Major Series in Historic Content Purge

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Bob Iger with Disney logo

Credit: Inside the Magic

Cancellations have marked the fate of the Disney+ streaming platform.

Disney+ hit the ground running, amassing over 100 million subscribers worldwide within its first 16 months, thanks in large part to its extensive library of content, including iconic classics like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and the Star Wars series, as well as the acquisition of 21st Century Fox (now called 20th Century Studios), which brought in franchises like The Simpsons, Avatar, and the X-Men.

All of the different Disney+ titles surrounding the logo
Credit: Disney

The service has also been a home for original content, such as The Mandalorian, which captured the hearts of Star Wars fans, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s expansion into television with series like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki.

However, despite its initial success, Disney+ has faced challenges in retaining subscribers. One major issue is the seasonality of Disney’s content. Many subscribers would sign up to watch specific series like The Mandalorian or limited-time events like the musical release of Hamilton, only to cancel their subscriptions once they’ve consumed what they came for. The lack of a consistent flow of new, must-watch content between major releases has been a struggle for Disney+.

Another significant challenge is the competition in the streaming market. Disney+ faces stiff competition from established giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, as well as newer players like Max, Apple TV+, and Peacock. Each service boasts its unique content and appeals to different demographics, making it difficult for Disney+ to stand out and retain subscribers over the long term.

Collage of Disney+ programming
Credit: What’s On Disney Plus

Price has also become a major factor in subscriber retention. While Disney+ initially offered a relatively low subscription fee, it later raised its prices as it expanded its content offerings. The company has continued to increase prices– with expectations for another price hike in the future– and this has led to some losses in the streaming department, especially in the last year. Still, CEO Bob Iger has maintained that Disney is focused on streaming in the future.

“…he trends being fueled by cord cutting are unmistakable,” Iger said in a previous interview via Deadline. “And, as I have stated before, we are thinking expansively and considering a variety of strategic options.” He also shared that the company is “fortunate to have an array of extremely productive television studios that we will rely on to continue providing exceptional content for audiences well into the future.”

Of course, many fans have already expressed backlash toward Disney+ due to the announcements that it would be limiting password sharing and cracking down on fans sharing their accounts with others outside of their homes beginning next year. To deal with these losses, the streaming service has made several big decisions to cut content from its library. Just recently, we reported on a couple of different Disney shows that were cut from the streaming platform but found their way as paid content on Roku TV and other offerings.

Bob Iger close-up
Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

With so much happening surrounding Disney+ and many new updates set for the future, it’s been hard for fans to keep up with the latest trends and overhauls happening with the streaming company.

Disney has acknowledged that the trends driven by cord-cutting are undeniable, and they are exploring various strategic options to adapt to this shifting landscape. As we approach November, Disney has already canceled eight series that were once a part of the streaming platform, and rumors are that the company may not be done yet.

One of the notable cancellations is The Wonder Years, a reboot of the 1988 classic series. It had gained two seasons but was canceled before its third, leaving fans disappointed. Similarly, The Nautilus, which was set to delve into the origin story of Captain Nemo, was canceled even before it could debut on the platform. Disney is currently looking for a new home for this series.

Another promising adaptation, The Spiderwick Chronicles, met an unfortunate fate before it could begin, and Disney is exploring other streaming options for this show. Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., inspired by the 1989-1993 series Doogie Howser, M.D., was also discontinued after two seasons, following the life of a 16-year-old medical prodigy.

original Mighty Ducks
Credit: Disney

In April, Disney announced the cancellation of National Treasure: Edge of History, a series following treasure hunter Jess Venezuela in her quest for a centuries-old treasure. In February, Big Shot, which followed a men’s basketball coach coaching girls at an elite private high school, was also canceled.

Moreover, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, a follow-up to the 1992 film, and The Mysterious Benedict Society, based on a book series, received two seasons but were canceled before their third.

While these cancellations might disappoint fans, Disney’s commitment to exceptional content and its exploration of strategic options in the face of cord-cutting trends demonstrate its determination to thrive in the ever-evolving streaming industry. As the year progresses, more cancellations may follow, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

What do you think of these Disney+ cancellations, and what do you think is next? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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