7 Ways TV and Streaming Fans Win With the Disney–Fox Deal

Popular Fox shows stay put, streaming options expand, FX offers Disney an edgy TV outlet, and more.

by | August 8, 2018 | Comments

DEADPOOL, US advance poster, Ryan Reynolds, as Deadpool, 2016. TM & ©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved./Courtesy Everett Collection; ROBIN HOOD, Robin Hood, 1973, Everett Collection

(Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; ©Walt Disney/Everett Collection)

The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox stockholders voted at the end of July to approve Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. For Disney’s movies, this means they now have access to Fox’s Marvel properties like X-Men and Fantastic Four. Disney will now be the home to the Avatar franchise and classic Fox titles.

For television, Disney gets 20th Century Fox studio, FX Networks, National Geographic, and more. The actual Fox network is not part of the deal. Fox splits off and becomes “New Fox,” which includes Fox Broadcasting Co. and the Fox TV station group, Fox Sports and Fox News.

What this means for movie fans is more clear: for one, Marvel fans hope Wolverine can finally join The Avengers, and now that Disney owns the studio that released Star Wars: A New Hope and its 1997 special edition, maybe they can restore the unaltered theatrical edition.

To find out what this means for TV fans, Rotten Tomatoes interviewed current Fox Television CEO Dana Walden, FX CEO John Landgraf, and prolific creator on both networks Ryan Murphy, and found 7 big ways TV fans win in this Disney–Fox deal.


The Simpsons (Fox)

(Photo by Fox)

Television production arm 20th Century Fox Television produces shows on all networks, like This Is Us on NBC, so they’re not going to pull Fox Television shows off of New Fox just because they’re splitting from the network.

Fox Television currently produces Fox’s The Simpsons, 9-1-1, The Resident, The Gifted, The Orville, and this season’s The Cool Kids, Rel, The Passage, and Proven Innocent. And New Fox will fight to keep the shows that define the Fox network.

The Simpsons is so much a part of the brand,” Walden said. “There are no plans for them to go anywhere other than Fox. We have a couple years of episodes already in progress on The Simpsons.”

That’s also good news for anyone pitching animated shows to Fox. Look how The Simpsons has anchored Sunday night animation on Fox.

“There’s been such an incredible halo effect of that show and the other animated series that are on our Sunday night,” Walden acknowledged. “Keeping quality shows that help define a network’s brand — there are reasons aside from financial you keep producing shows.”


Big Bang Theory (Monty Brinton/CBS)

(Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS)

New Fox may be losing 20th Century Fox Television as an in-house creator of shows, but the split frees them to select from the best new shows all the TV production studios offer. That can still include Fox Television, but also the television arms of Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., MGM, Lionsgate, and more.

“What makes New Fox new: It will be the only network to operate with complete independence,” Walden said. “It will have the ability to pick up the best shows from any production company with no studio agenda. We see this as an opportunity to get vibrant, independent studios back on broadcast.”

Sony and Warner Brothers aren’t hurting — Sony produces NBC’s The Blacklist, ABC’s The Good Doctor, Netflix’s The Crown, and YouTube Premium’s Karate Kid sequel Cobra Kai, while WB produces CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and all The CW’s Arrowverse shows. Walden just wants first dibs.

“We want to be their first choice among the big four networks,” Walden said. “Last season 90 percent of our development came from our own studio. This year we’ll reduce it to 50 percent, with the other half coming from outside.”


(Photo by Buena Vista)

Disney is planning to launch its own streaming service next year, which will include a new live-action Star Wars series as well as catalogs of Disney-owned series and movies. The New York Times reports that National Geographic programming is likely to be added to Disney streaming, though it is still unknown whether Fox’s catalog will be combined. If it were, that would include movies like Avatar, Die Hard, Planet of the Apes, and other major franchises and TV classics (M*A*S*H, L.A. Law, and The X-Files, to name a few), and you get a robust streaming environment with familiar titles that appeals to a broad base

And if Fox content doesn’t appear on Disney streaming, Hulu is still available. When Fox’s share of Hulu is added to Disney, Disney will own two-thirds of Hulu. Analysts predict Disney can beef up Hulu with Fox shows that are maybe too edgy and adult for its family friendly Disney service. Empire, 24The Orville, and others may go better with The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock than animated movies.

Disney also owns ESPN and their ESPN+ app, and FX+ is available for $5.99 a month for more options.


American Horror Story: Apocalypse keyart (FX)

(Photo by FX)

Even before the Disney–Fox merger was appoved, Ryan Murphy signed a new deal to develop shows for Netflix, where he’s doing Ratched, a show based on the Nurse Ratched character from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

He’s still got four shows on Fox and FX: American Horror Story, American Crime StoryPose, and 9-1-1. He’s going to keep those going for Fox and FX, while still creating more shows for Netflix.

“Every show that I have established that is running that’s on FOX or FX, my intent is to move forward with them and to keep going with them and to be actively involved with them,” Murphy said while on a panel for Pose.

There won’t be any new Ryan Murphy shows on Fox or FX. Netflix snagged the future of Ryan Murphy, but as long as New Fox and Disney play ball, he’ll keep giving them the good stuff they inherited with the purchase.

“It’s been an interesting transition for me, because in many ways it feels the same,” Murphy said. “I’m still close to everybody at FX and FOX and speak to them almost every day while I’m pursuing my new development. So I’m really excited about the things that I’m developing for Netflix, and I’m also very excited about continuing the properties I have for FOX.”


Alien Covenant (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

(Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

Disney is already developing a live-action Star Wars series, thus making its streaming service a must have for Star Wars fans. Via ABC, they’ve also done Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter based on characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Observer suggests that Disney could turn the Alien franchise into a streaming series too. Think of all the Fox franchises that could open up as series: Planet of the Apes was already a short-lived series, but with today’s technology they can do it right. Or how about the weekly adventures of John McClane? (Our own Comics on TV columnist has been rooting for a Fantastic Four or Silver Surfer series.)


Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Walt Disney Pictures)

(Photo by Walt Disney Pictures)

FX CEO John Landgraf hopes his network can contribute to the synergy of the Disney-Fox deal. FX is home to edgy adult shows like The Americans, Atlanta, American Horror Story, American Crime StoryThe Shield, and so on.

“I think you could make a case Disney does G and PG and PG-13 better than any other company in the history of the world, but they don’t do much R,” Landgraf said. “We do that pretty well. So I think there’s a lot of the properties that don’t readily translate themselves into truly adult stuff, but if you’re asking me if there’s IP locked in there that I’d love to get my hands on, yeah.”

Star Wars has never had a problem entertaining fans of all ages, but surely there are some grown-up fans who would appreciate a more adult and mature take on the galaxy far, far away. If Disney would ever allow such an approach, Landgraf is ready.

“I won’t be the keeper of that flame,” Landgraf said. “If somebody gives us an opportunity to do something with it, I’ll be thrilled, but we’ll see.”


GLOW (Netflix)

(Photo by Netflix)

Competition is good and a major concern about Disney acquiring Fox is the idea that it’s inching ever closer to an entertainment monopoly. The competitive landscape remains intact even with this merger — it just looks different.

Disney gets more shows for their streaming services, and Netflix will lose all its Disney content by the end of 2019 and will have to come up with even more originals to keep subscribers interested.

Netflix has shown how good they are at creating compelling water-cooler television: Stranger Things, Mindhunter, and GLOW are three examples. The remaining question is: Can they create the next Bambi or Little Mermaid?

Tag Cloud

period drama Showtime screen actors guild diversity toy story renewed TV shows children's TV Amazon cancelled TV series Ovation Toys APB Reality Competition Disney Channel Comedy Central Pirates Mary Poppins Returns cars latino streaming movies wonder woman Summer Paramount Network Christmas streaming Fall TV Holiday PlayStation Tomatazos CNN scene in color Turner Classic Movies CW Seed target Comics on TV 72 Emmy Awards all-time live action dexter TCA 2017 National Geographic dragons rt labs critics edition binge New York Comic Con international 21st Century Fox new zealand asian-american robots blockbuster Netflix new york OWN Drama thriller Rock remakes 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Grammys spanish MTV Countdown 2020 strong female leads Food Network 93rd Oscars NBC Sony Pictures football films Mindy Kaling satire MCU critic resources Emmy Nominations television 2018 Pop Film Festival razzies Musicals cinemax 20th Century Fox Marvel Studios elevated horror dark Lifetime Podcast romance PaleyFest award winner The Witch parents werewolf Horror 2019 Discovery Channel YouTube Red Television Critics Association Bravo toronto dceu critics Chernobyl aapi Pet Sematary Video Games HBO Go Comic-Con@Home 2021 boxoffice YouTube Premium Crunchyroll RT History cartoon Avengers YouTube deadpool cancelled television comics reviews classics festival marvel comics discovery DirecTV Apple FOX facebook Black Mirror GLAAD kong Country LGBTQ See It Skip It Fox Searchlight TNT Awards Walt Disney Pictures venice Legendary The CW President The Purge Amazon Prime politics cults indiana jones MSNBC Cartoon Network Comic Book hollywood Epix singing competition criterion GoT YA The Academy space know your critic hispanic heritage month natural history sequels VOD A24 E! BET Awards best Creative Arts Emmys tv talk ABC theme song kaiju Trophy Talk Esquire 007 24 frames Tubi BET TV Land fresh ABC Signature french Premiere Dates PBS Sci-Fi Fantasy WGN high school Mystery San Diego Comic-Con scorecard ABC Family Song of Ice and Fire Certified Fresh Marathons talk show young adult USA marvel cinematic universe RT21 zombie DC Comics Quiz History Polls and Games Acorn TV Classic Film cops Western Rom-Com Freeform franchise gangster ID nature TV movies spain independent Star Trek true crime fast and furious Set visit richard e. Grant foreign 99% Nat Geo joker anthology christmas movies black a nightmare on elm street Sundance TV anime cancelled TV shows USA Network versus Disney streaming service Chilling Adventures of Sabrina A&E medical drama Mary Tyler Moore feel good VH1 unscripted OneApp spanish language Animation hist halloween tv comic TCA based on movie Paramount Plus Turner stand-up comedy comedies TCA Awards video italian Year in Review new star wars movies mission: impossible composers universal monsters WarnerMedia video on demand Apple TV+ cats science fiction king kong golden globes rom-coms AMC LGBT obituary FXX superman south america Lionsgate Hulu disaster Spring TV Valentine's Day Sundance Shondaland Reality Logo Adult Swim DC streaming service BBC America BBC One police drama series Action rotten ratings Peacock Academy Awards Best and Worst Oscars Arrowverse book adaptation ITV Opinion concert telelvision hidden camera Starz Anna Paquin FX on Hulu teaser sports SXSW Hallmark Christmas movies indie Fox News 2015 TV One Star Wars sag awards crime thriller Wes Anderson Dark Horse Comics Lifetime Christmas movies Paramount adventure Pop TV Disney+ Disney Plus casting screenings Tarantino Hear Us Out posters documentary halloween X-Men Masterpiece dramedy slashers ghosts sitcom El Rey Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Biopics romantic comedy saw news witnail Interview Comedy Spectrum Originals book BAFTA crime drama kids Mudbound olympics Nominations popular supernatural ViacomCBS Martial Arts hispanic trailers Photos Extras 1990s 45 prank doctor who scary movies Britbox reboot Binge Guide revenge vampires Stephen King superhero nbcuniversal miniseries biography Tokyo Olympics CBS docudrama comiccon comic book movie suspense emmy awards Vudu TV Television Academy game show chucky HBO Max DC Universe twilight die hard Elton John Pixar rt labs Emmys Musical Calendar harry potter Rocky zombies Character Guide CMT spider-man jamie lee curtis laika Trivia transformers dogs boxing breaking bad Nickelodeon jurassic park Rocketman Funimation war Ellie Kemper movie documentaries Disney Plus Marvel Television monster movies crime The Walt Disney Company social media Syfy crossover james bond blaxploitation Pacific Islander 90s name the review Sneak Peek TBS TLC Holidays Baby Yoda Winter TV 4/20 festivals Brie Larson debate spinoff 2021 Red Carpet slasher Election godzilla adaptation child's play australia pirates of the caribbean directors Tumblr mockumentary Infographic Columbia Pictures E3 Watching Series Women's History Month IFC Films king arthur Image Comics travel what to watch game of thrones SDCC Super Bowl aliens TCM docuseries japanese American Society of Cinematographers FX comic book movies Hallmark Disney Mary poppins GIFs ESPN technology animated CBS All Access canceled rt archives Superheroes archives cooking adenture batman IFC Music sequel mutant comic books basketball political drama The Arrangement HBO rotten movies we love Alien psychological thriller 2017 BBC Marvel free movies NYCC quibi First Reviews Travel Channel 73rd Emmy Awards women green book Amazon Prime Video Family movies Film Crackle Warner Bros. action-comedy Ghostbusters Universal NBA lord of the rings Trailer First Look TV renewals Heroines dc TruTV The Walking Dead SundanceTV Netflix Christmas movies TIFF DGA serial killer Sundance Now worst movies Writers Guild of America Pride Month Awards Tour Cosplay Shudder cancelled Box Office Superheroe canceled TV shows blockbusters stop motion Broadway finale Thanksgiving Teen legend Winners 2016 psycho historical drama Amazon Studios royal family biopic spy thriller Lucasfilm japan Endgame zero dark thirty heist movie justice league mcc Black History Month Schedule Cannes Kids & Family 71st Emmy Awards nfl VICE worst Captain marvel golden globe awards stoner Spike TCA Winter 2020 Exclusive Video Apple TV Plus