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Disney unveils post-Fox merger slate

Breeders stars Martin Freeman

LA SCREENINGS: Disney Global Content Sales and Distribution has revealed the full list of shows it is making available to international buyers at the LA Screenings this week.

The list of 18 series comes as the recently supersized media giant mines programming from its various studio brands, which now include Twentieth Century Fox Television and FX Productions.

As a result, the sales and distribution arm of the Mouse House has a number of adult-skewing cable comedies and dramas sitting alongside more mainstream shows made for US networks such as ABC and Fox.

New additions include forthcoming FX shows such as Breeders, a comedy-drama starring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Fargo) from UK-based Avalon TV and Sky; an as-yet untitled half-hour comedy based on the life of rapper and comedian Dave Burd, aka Lil Dicky; and the limited series A Christmas Carol and Devs.

A Christmas Carol is described as a unique and original take on Charles Dickens’ iconic ghost story and comes from Steven Knight, creator of Taboo and Peaky Blinders and executive producers Tom Hardy and Ridley Scott. Its cast includes Guy Pearce, Andy Serkis, Stephen Graham and Charlotte Riley.

Devs, meanwhile, comes from Alex Garland (Ex Machina) and follows a young computer engineer who investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in San Francisco, which she believes is behind the murder of her boyfriend.

Disney also has the Fox animated comedies Bless the Harts, featuring the voices of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Jillian Bell, and The Great North, which follows the Alaskan adventures of a single dad who does his best to keep his weird bunch of kids close.

Other 20th Century Fox Television shows the Mouse House is selling include the network dramas Next, starring Mad Men’s John Slattery; Filthy Rich, based on the New Zealand format created by Filthy Productions; and 9-1-1: Lone Star, a spin-off to the 9-1-1 franchise that stars Rob Lowe as a sophisticated New York cop who, along with his son, re-locates to Austin.

Comedies, meanwhile, include multi-camera family sitcom Outmatched, plus single camera shows Perfect Harmony and Bless this Mess.

Numerous international buyers have told C21 that they have been unsure how much programming Disney would make available to them at the LA Screenings this year as it looks to retain rights ahead of the launch of its own direct-to-consumer streaming service.

Disney+ will initially launch in the US in November, with international expansion set to follow, while it also recently took full operational control of US streamer Hulu and is aiming to roll it out globally too.

Meanwhile, Disney’s list of returning series from its combined production assets now includes American Horror Story, Atlanta, Empire, Baskets, Better Things, Family Guy, Homeland, American Dad, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, What We Do in the Shadows and The Simpsons.


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