The Power of Storytelling and the Marvel Franchise – WWD

A media business roiled by a maturing streaming mannequin and bearish inventory market was no match for the thick layer of nostalgia on show at Disney’s upfront presentation on Tuesday. The firm will have a good time its a hundredth anniversary later this yr. And Walt Disney Company chief govt officer Bob Chapek opened the presentation from Basketball City at Pier 36 in the South Street Seaport by harking to the firm’s lengthy historical past in the storytelling enterprise.

“This is an unimaginable milestone for us,” he stated. “We’ve created recollections for tens of millions of followers throughout generations.”

What Chapek didn’t point out is that Disney+ will supply an ad-supported tier; a nod to the enterprise imperatives of the premium streaming mannequin. The superstar heavy presentation bolstered the story-first ethos.

Ellen Pompeo rattled off an inventory of spectacular “Grey’s Anatomy” statistics: viewers watched over 2 billion hours of “Grey’s Anatomy” final yr; as the present celebrates its four-hundredth episode subsequent week, it’s the longest working primetime medical drama in TV historical past; it airs in additional than 200 territories, and in 60 languages; it featured the “first homosexual Asian surgeon, the first recurring deaf physician and, this season, the first recurring nonbinary surgeon,” stated Pompeo. “When you see your self on display, fantastic issues can occur and do occur.”

ABC will launch two scripted dramas in the fall: “Alaska,” starring Hilary Swank as a former New York City reporter who takes a job at a small Anchorage newspaper after a scandal forces her into exile, and spin-off “The Rookie: Feds,” with Niecy Nash-Betts as the oldest rookie at the FBI Academy. The community additionally has ordered “Celebrity Jeopardy!,” a primetime spinoff of the iconic sport present, to be hosted by Mayim Bialik, who shared internet hosting duties with Ken Jennings on the syndicated program.

Meanwhile “Bachelor in Paradise” will air twice every week — on Monday and Tuesday — filling the schedule gap left by the firm’s choice to maneuver “Dancing With the Stars” to Disney+.

Kerry Washington, who spent seven seasons on Shonda Rhimes’ runaway hit “Scandal,” reminded the viewers that she started her performing profession in an ABC After School Special, guest-starred on “NYPD Blue” and had a narrative arc on “Boston Legal.” More just lately, she voiced a personality on “The Simpsons,” and produced Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere.” She launched the upcoming Hulu drama “Reasonable Doubt” (starring Emayatzy Corinealdi as an unorthodox Los Angeles protection legal professional). It’s the first new drama from Washington’s Onyx Collective, which, she defined, will produce “curated premium culturally particular storytelling for a worldwide viewers.”

The (prolonged) ESPN portion of the presentation was helmed by the mildly humorous Manning brothers (Peyton and Eli). Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and XFL proprietor and chairwoman Dany Garcia revealed that ESPN can be the unique dwelling of the XFL, which Johnson characterised as “a league of ardour, a league of pleasure, and league of tradition.” Of course, ESPN additionally has the NFL, which makes one surprise how the Spike Lee-directed Colin Kaepernick documentary will take care of Kaepernick’s therapy by the NFL.

Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige launched previews of “Ms. Marvel,” the teenage superhero who will get her personal film dropping in June on Disney+ (and additionally will be a part of subsequent yr’s “The Marvels”), “She Hulk Attorney at Law,” additionally coming this summer season, and he revealed that “Echo” is in manufacturing.

As per custom, Jimmy Kimmel closed the ceremony by mocking the hand that feeds.

At Disney, he stated, “we’re one comfortable household. If anybody in Florida asks, one straight household, one mother, one dad and no homosexual uncle dwelling in the visitor home.”

And he took direct goal at Chapek, who sports activities a shaved pate, and, um, others: “A Disney CEO has by no means spoken at the upfront earlier than, now we all know why. Bob, I feel I communicate for all of us once I say, ‘Bob, we will’t wait to see you in ‘GI Jane II.’”

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