Disney Plus UK has confirmed a slew of new and exclusive shows are coming to the service via its label Star over the next couple of years. These include the high-profile Pam & Tommy miniseries starring Lily James, Sebastian Stan and Seth Rogen, along with series like football documentary Welcome to Wrexham and a long-awaited high-profile post-apocalyptic drama.
Pam & Tommy is about the theft of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape in 1995, and its immediate aftermath. It’s being directed by Cruella and I, Tonya’s Craig Gillespie, and photos of the cast have been drawing a lot of attention on social media. That series will launch on Disney Plus via Star in 2022.
Steve Martin series Only Murders in the Building, a comedy about true crime fans who suddenly get embroiled in the real thing, is coming to Disney Plus UK in autumn 2021, it’s been confirmed.
Kumail Nanjiani miniseries Immigrant is launching on the service in 2022, along with novel adaptation Fleishman is in Trouble. Another miniseries, Dopesick starring Michael Keaton, is also coming to Disney Plus via Star – though we already heard about that one last year.
FX, the US network behind the likes of Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Sons of Anarchy, is set to be a major source of Disney Plus Star originals. In the coming 18 months, Disney says FX is making 30 shows per year (five of which are non-fiction, which will mean documentaries), with all set to be available on Star.
Previously discussed series like comic book adaptation Y: The Last Man, anthology spin-off American Horror Stories, and the Taika Waititi co-created comedy Reservation Dogs will all release later in 2021 on Disney Plus UK. A show from The Office’s BJ Novak is also coming to the service later this year.
Welcome to Wrexham, launching within the next 12 months, might be interesting to UK viewers. It’s about the Welsh town, and explores the lives of people who reside there as new co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds take over their long-running football club. Another series, The Choe Show, is an interview show where artist David Choe paints his guests during each episode, and it’ll launch on the streamer in 2021.
In 2022, Disney Plus UK will also get two music docuseries, about Tupac Shakur and the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones respectively.
Alongside these FX series, Disney Television Studios confirmed a slew of additional shows are coming to Star. These include The Big Leap, about a group of people trying to turn their lives around by appearing on reality TV, and Maggie, a show about a psychic. A reboot of The Wonder Years is also coming to the service, along with new series Queens and Our Kind of People. All of these are coming to Disney Plus via Star within the next 12 months.
Finally, National Geographic is bringing Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller, Running Wild with Bear Grylls and Wicked Tuna to the service over the next 12 months.
That’s a lot to watch – and of course, it doesn’t even include all the Marvel and Star Wars TV shows we already know about.
Analysis: how much of this should you care about?
There’s no doubt that the addition of Star has made a difference to the experience of using Disney Plus. As an archive of classic movies and TV shows, it’s incredibly strong. Releasing Oscar Best Picture winner Nomadland on the service, too, was a bold move that showed Disney is prepared to make big swings to have this streamer compete with the likes of Netflix and Sky in the UK.
When it comes to original TV shows, it seems like they’re just getting started. The likes of Solar Opposites, Dollface and Rebel certainly give viewers more choices – but it feels like we haven’t seen a Star original series hit the service that has the same pull as The Mandalorian or The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. These are early days, though, since the launch of Star only happened back in late February.
Something like Pam & Tommy, though, is destined to be a hotly discussed, widely seen series. That’s the type of show that will establish Disney Plus as much more than just a location for Star Wars, Marvel or Pixar in the UK – which is no doubt what the entertainment giant wants.