Disney Plus to feature UK original shows
Disney+ will soon feature UK original series across drama, comedy and unscripted – but prices are going up. The streaming service, which will add a sixth brand, Star, to its platform on February 23, has already announced a raft of European original series are in the pipeline. Star will join Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic and Disney and will double the amount of content available to European subscribers as thousands of hours of material are added to the service.
It will also lead to a price hike as the monthly subscription fee increases from GBP5.99 to GBP7.99. Disney recently announced that the service has 94.9 million subscribers worldwide, as it shared plans for a raft of new projects, including 10 new Marvel series and 10 new Star War series. Hit drama series including Lost, 24 and Desperate Housewives, as well as films such as The Favourite, Working Girl and 9 To 5 will be among the raft of options when Star becomes available.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing, Disney executives said the Star strand will also be home to forthcoming comedy series Only Murders In The Building, starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, and Dopesick, starring Michael Keaton and Rosario Dawson. Liam Keelan, vice president of original programming in Europe and Africa, said there will be 10 new shows made in Europe, highlighting the French fantasy series Parallels and the Italian series The Good Mothers, the true story of an Italian prosecutor who decides her way into the Mafia is to get wives and girlfriends to turn and give evidence. Keelan also confirmed there are UK series in the pipeline, saying: “There are a number of projects just on the cusp of announcement, a real range of different shows, dramas, comedy, unscripted, a really exciting line-up to announce soon.”
Discussing the price hike, Jan Koeppen, president of The Walt Disney Company for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “We feel really good about the price and the value we are offering subscribers. “We’ve had one simple price so far, which is GBP5.99, and as of February 23, when Star goes live, we will continue to have one simple price and that price will be GBP7.99 per month. “We think that is great value, and if you want to have even better value you can take out an annual subscription, which offers you 12 months for the price of 10 to make it even better value than the monthly one.”
Current subscribers will get Star at their current price of GBP5.99 for the next six months.
The price includes four concurrent users, 10 devices, 4K Ultra HD, unlimited downloads and new parental controls. Luke Bradley-Jones, senior vice president of direct to consumer and general manager of Disney+ EMEA, said the launch of hours of more mature content will mean users will be able to set content ratings for their accounts and add a pin to lock profiles. If users do not set parental controls, the service will default to a 14+ setting, so mature content will not be visible.
New TV shows and films coming to Disney Plus
It was also confirmed that every episode of classic sitcom The Golden Girls will launch on the service in the summer, while films including Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Enemy Of The State and Taken will be available from next month.
The X-Men movies that are currently not available on the platform, X-Men: First Class and Logan, will also join the service within the year. Star will also include the original series Big Sky, by Big Little Lies, and The Undoing’s David E Kelley, about the search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. It will also include Love Victor, which is set in the world of the 2018 film Love, Simon, and follows a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery as he struggles with his sexual orientation.
Also added to the service will be comedies Ugly Betty, Black-ish, How I Met Your Mother and Atlanta, dramas Prison Break, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, and sci-fi classic The X-Files.
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