Disney+ Renew/Cancel: Star Wars Keeps Bringing Hits To Disney+


Welcome to the first edition of 2023 of Disney+ Renew/Cancel. In this edition, the four scripted originals with fates pending are discussed: Star Wars: The Bad Batch, National Treasure: Edge of History, Willow, and The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. Predictions are made primarily based on how prominent a series is on Disney+; in this case, where it ranks on both the Series section and the Originals section as of the time of writing. Other factors that weigh into the predictions include how long it has been since a show has last aired. 

Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Now in its second season, Star Wars: The Bad Batch is the first animated show that premiered on Disney+. Led by The Mandalorian, Disney has used Disney+ as a way to add new Star Wars shows to their library. With a ranking higher on both the series and originals page than the other shows with pending fates, Star Wars: The Bad Batch seems to be in the healthiest shape. It is also an ongoing series, meaning a renewal announcement may only be a matter of when Disney finds it optimal to announce. 

Disney has to decide how many Star Wars shows they want to be airing at once. Another Star Wars animated show, Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, is due to premiere in May. It is possible Disney+ decides to end Star Wars: The Bad Batch to make room for Young Jedi Adventures, although its current prominence on the platform indicates a return is more likely. 

National Treasure: Edge of History
National Treasure: Edge of History concluded its first season just over a month ago, and as of this writing ranks 7th on the Series section and 10th on the Originals section. This is by no means great, but it demonstrates that Disney+ is still letting new viewers find the show. Based on the National Treasure film franchise, Disney+ likely aimed to convert longtime fans of the franchise to subscribers. However, National Treasure as a brand pales in comparison to the likes of Star Wars and Marvel. It is predicted as Leans Renew, with a slightly higher chance than not that Disney+ will produce more episodes to try to add more subscribers. 

It’s been nearly two months since Willow last aired and there has been no word on it since. Hailing from Lucasfilm, it is an adaptation of the franchise that spawned the hit 1988 movie. It’s still ranked solidly on the Series section at #8, and even better on the Originals section at #6. One would think if Disney+ were to renew a show as high profile as this, they would’ve done so by now. Willow has been blasted by many viewers and even some online publications for perceived poor quality, potentially incentivizing  Disney+ to move on early. A couple months ago I would have expected Willow to get renewed; now, it still appears quite possible but not nearly as likely. 

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder
The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder is a revival of the 2000s Disney Channel show The Proud Family, and has now aired two seasons on Disney+. It is all the way down at #18 on the Series section as of this writing, but in a much better position (#5) on the Originals section. At this point, just about everyone who would have signed up for Disney+ to watch a revival of The Proud Family likely has already done so. Additionally, no ratings have been reported for the Disney Channel airings, indicating its linear ratings are likely extremely low (Nielsen does report the ratings for the Paramount+ originals that air episodes on Nickelodeon, provided they make the daily 150 cable shows). 

The one thing that could save The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder is its critical reception. It was nominated for Outstanding Animated Series at the first ever Children’s and Family Emmy Awards in 2022, and won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Animated Series in 2023. These awards nominations and wins did not seem to bring a whole lot of attention to the series, but it could be enough for Disney+ to decide to order a third season. However, I find it more likely that the apparently low ratings on Disney Channel will carry more weight in the final decision. 

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