Two Disney shows are coming to ITVX in the first half of 2024 — what are they, and what might this mean going forward?
In the scheme of things, two shows coming to ITX from Disney+ UK may not seem the biggest story in the world with the wealth of programming on the streamer. Before Marvel or Star Wars fans get excited, it’s nothing from those flagships — but what of the future?
What are the Two Disney shows?
They are Extraordinary and Under the Banner of Heaven. As ITV reports, both will launch in the first half of 2024 on ITVX, with Extraordinary also coming to ITV2. Given the show’s setting in London, a visit to ITV2 can only help draw the audience. If you want a quick recap on the two shows, here’s what ITV says:
Extraordinary, was written by series creator and co-executive producer Emma Moran is set in a world where everyone develops a power on their 18th birthday… everyone, that is, except for Jen (Máiréad Tyers). The series sees 25-year-old Jen adrift in a big, confusing world and armed with nothing but a bit of hope, a lot of desperation, and her flatmates as she begins her journey to find her superpower. Also starring Sofia Oxenham, Bilal Hasna, Luke Rollason and Siobhán McSweeney.
Under the Banner of Heaven was created by Dustin Lance Black and stars Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones. The series was inspired by the true crime bestseller by Jon Krakauer, and follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter in a suburb in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah.
What might this mean going forward?
Most obviously as this deal is only for season 1 of Extraordinary, we can expect ITV to also be keen on season 2. The next logical step is for more similar deals for other content, particularly with a UK interest.
For Disney, this may just be testing the water, but given the company’s need to generate revenue without investment, further licence deals with other parties globally must be likely. And if Disney, why not other streamers? While they may be extending their audience with advertising supported subscriptions (or totally free in the case of Prime Video and FreeVee), licensing of existing content must be an option to generate income.
Is there a downside?
Disney+ is keeping the shows on the UK service, and two shows is far from fatal in terms of the huge back-catalogue and new titles they have to draw an audience. It’s a good way to spread the word but does, inevitably, make a dent in the walled garden. Currently (and there are other forces at play in the market), we have several major streaming options of interest to a UK audience other than those coming from UK linear TV (BBC, ITV, Channel 4…) and few will consider paying for all of them (and when would they find time to watch?!). We can easily list many shows we’d like to see come to services currently covered by the Licence Fee and advertising from all the streamers.
Can we imagine a time when streamers go back to simply producing content and licensing it out via its current rivals? Something has to change, be it acquisitions or co-bundling deals (we read rumours of Apple TV+ / Paramount+). It’s an interesting time for the market, and we’ll bring you our take on it as and when changes occur.