Disney+ Boss Gets Candid About Show Cancellation Concerns

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Disney+ logo, Marvel, Star Wars

Disney+ has been experiencing incredible success ever since its launch in 2019, and this was mostly due to the influx of content from Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that streaming for the studio is “100 percent the future,” which was further proven by the consistent arrival of small screen projects, such as Loki and Moon Knight. However, one discussion point that fans have been talking about is the renewal chances of these shows. 

So far, Marvel series like Loki, I Am Groot, and What If...? have received second-season orders while The Mandalorian and Andor have multiple Disney+ slates under their bag, to begin with. 

This leads to rampant speculation on whether other shows, such as Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight will receive a Season 2. Some have theorized that they would be canceled in favor of big-screen appearances. 

Now, a Disney+ executive has addressed this matter.

Disneary+ Exec Reveals Importance of Streaming in Company's Future 

Marvel and Star Wars

Speaking as a guest in Variety's Strictly Business podcast, Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (which is in charge of the company's streaming services, including Disney+), revealed the importance of streaming while also addressing fans' cancellation concerns. 

When asked about who is responsible for making the "tough calls" on canceling shows, Daniel first pointed out that they don't have a lot of examples to draw upon due to the fact that "content teams are creating some fantastic things."

"Fortunately, we don’t have a lot of examples to draw upon because the content teams are creating some fantastic things. We weigh a lot of different factors in terms of whether should we go forward or not. And a lot of that does require faith in our content teams where you know your story arc, you know what’s happening, sometimes you’ll have a Season 1 where you know you have to go to certain things and to establish these characters and a fundamental storyline but you know where that’s going in a second season even if it’s not performing that well in that first season or as well as we would like. You know what it’s going to do in the second season, and it’s going to yield benefits because that library will maintain. When we’re talking about the streaming service, it will be there. That is something that we rely upon on our content teams for certainly."

However, Daniel pressed that the top-level executives have a responsibility to drive "growth for these platforms," stressing the need for these shows to perform.

"But ultimately, we do have a responsibility in driving growth for these platforms. Then if something is not performing, then we’re going to have to make that call as tough as it may be, if it’s not working on the service. We are focused of course on hitting the profitability that we established as a key goal in 2024. We are confident that we are going to hit that."

Variety then pointed out that the "linear world" of media, such as the existing channels like ESPN, Disney Channel, and Freeform, are "melting." The question then revolved around how Disney is managing this melt or if the industry is just "overestimating" the decline.  

Daniel explained that "looking at industries is important," noting that the Walt Disney Company has "exceeded and even led" those industries despite the challenges that may occur: 

"I often think that looking at industries is important, but if you look at historically, what the Walt Disney Company has done. We have exceeded and perhaps, even led those industries despite the fundamentals that may occur in the industries. What'd I mean by that is, you mention ESPN, it’s the number 1 cable network 5 years in a row, ABC [is the] #1 primetime cable network, three years in a row. I can keep going. There’s a lot here. You got Freeform, FX, and so forth. We continue to perform well in those areas."

The Disney executive then reassured that "streaming is a massive part" of the company's future, meaning that it will continue to serve as a consistent part of the studio moving forward. 

In addition, Daniel also offered high praise toward the content teams:

"That said, streaming is a massive part of our future, and our job at DMED, is to balance across networks and streaming and theatrical. That means we know the growth we want to achieve in networks, we know what we want to achieve at the box office, and we invest appropriately. And again, the content teams are creating amazing content against that and it’s not a one or the other type situation."

Why Cancelling MCU Shows is Not An Option Right Now

Disney chairman Kareem Daniel's latest comment about cancellation concerns is a positive development, meaning that existing shows on Disney+ are safe for now. The high praise given to the content team is reassuring and this could motivate them to produce more quality content. 

At this stage, Disney+ is a well-oiled machine that doesn't seem to be fazed by the competition, especially with its barrage of new content outside of Marvel and Star Wars. For example, High School Musical The Musical Series is now heading to a fourth season (with no signs of slowing down) while other new series like Baymax and Cars on the Road are off to a great start audience-wise. 

While it may come to a point that cancellations will be needed to occur, Daniel's remark about having a thorough process when it comes to reaching a decision gives fans an overview of these tough calls are made, thus making sure that they are aware that these things happen not just with a snap of a finger. 

All in all, given the confirmation that streaming is a huge part of the House of Mouse's future, it is widely expected that more high-quality content will arrive sooner rather than later. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.