Disney+ Orders ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ Adventure Series

Disney+ has ordered “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” an adventure series based on Disney Hyperion’s best-selling book series by Rick Riordan with more than 180 million books in print globally.

Rick Riordan announced the series order Jan. 25 in a message on Disney+’s social media.

Geared towards a general audience, as well as tweens, teens, and young adults, the live action series tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, who’s just coming to terms with his newfound supernatural powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. Percy must trek across America to find it and restore order to Olympus.

Riordan and Jon Steinberg (“Black Sails,” FX’s upcoming “The Old Man”) will write the pilot with James Bobin (“The Mysterious Benedict Society,” “Dora and the Lost City of Gold”) directing. Steinberg will oversee the series with his producing partner Dan Shotz. Steinberg and Shotz serve as executive producers alongside Bobin, Rick Riordan, Rebecca Riordan, Bert Salke, Monica Owusu-Breen, Jim Rowe and Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, D.J. Goldberg. The Disney Branded Television series is produced by 20th Television.

“The opportunity to deliver a new fantastical series based on the bestselling book franchise to audiences around the world is thrilling and we look forward to what our partners at 20th Television, Disney Branded Television and the ingenious Rick Riordan have in store for demigods everywhere,” said Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming, in a statement.

“With Rick Riordan, Jon Steinberg and Dan Shotz leading our creative team, we’re deep into creating a compelling TV series worthy of the heroic mythological characters that millions of Percy Jackson readers know are well-worth caring about, and we’re eager to invite Disney+ audiences into stories that are true to the blockbuster franchise and full of anticipation, humor, surprise, and mystery,” said Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, in a statement.

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“Bringing Rick Riordan’s brilliant Percy Jackson books to Disney+ as a television series has been a mission for so many of us at this company as well as for Rick himself, and Jon, Dan, James and the excellent team they have assembled have proven to be the perfect collaborators,” said 20th Television president Karey Burke in a statement. “Thanks to our friends at Disney Branded Television led by Ayo, and Disney Streaming led by Michael, this will be an adaptation for the ages, with all the excitement, action and mythology fans of the books expect and love.” 

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘The Witcher,’ ‘Emily in Paris’ Dominated Xmas Week Streaming

Nielsen said a record 183 billion viewing minutes were streamed on household televisions in the U.S. during Christmas week 2021 — led by Netflix’s “The Witcher” and second-season debut of “Emily in Paris.”

“The Witcher,” which stars Henry Cavill in the fantasy series, saw viewership increase 25% to 2.7 billion minutes — in its second week release. The new season of “Emily in Paris,” starring Lily Collins, scored big with female streamers (78% audience share), generating 939 million minutes to edge out the season finale of “Hawkeye,” also with 939 million minutes.

“The big news [that week] was a lot of new content introduced,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy at Nielsen, said on the videocast. “It looks like ‘Emily’ and ‘Hawkeye’ tied, but unrounded, ‘Emily’ did just beat ‘Hawkeye’ for No. 2.”

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Notably, Fuhrer said the season-ending episode of “Hawkeye,” which features Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series, was the most-watched for the Disney+ program.

“It built steam, built buzz over the last two or three episodes,” Fuhrer said.

The same trend applied to Amazon Prime Video’s “The Wheel of Time,” which saw its weekly viewing minutes increase more than 30% to 638 million minutes for the season-ending eighth episode.

Among feature films, Prime Video’s Being the Ricardos topped all movies with 604 million minutes streamed watching Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem play Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz in the former TV stars’ complicated business/personal relationship.

“Seventy percent of the audience was over 50, with 37% of that percentile over the age of 65,” Fuhrer said, adding that Prime Video content tends to trend toward older demos.

Being the Ricardos was definitely red meat for that group,” he said.

Source: Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and Apple TV+), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Nielsen: Disney+, Netflix Dominated 2021 Domestic Streaming Content Consumption

Netflix ended last week on a Wall Street downer after investors punished the streaming behemoth’s stock for (barely) missing its Q4 subscriber growth projections and sluggish revenue growth forecast in 2022. On the flip side, Netflix’s episodic content continues to resonate with streamers, capturing nine of Nielsen’s Top 10 most-watched series in the U.S. in 2021.

Nielsen said Netflix’s erstwhile Fox Network series, “Lucifer,” topped all series streamed on household televisions in 2021 with 18.34 billion minutes consumed across 93 episodes. That topped all nine episodes of Netflix original Korean program,” Squid Game,” with 16.43 billion minutes consumed. No. 3 on chart was “The Great British Baking Show” with 13.64 billion minutes streamed across 75 episodes.

Other Netflix chart toppers included, in order, “Virgin River” with 12.91 billion minutes, “Bridgerton” (12.36 billion); “You” (11.12 billion); “Cobra Kai” (10.92 billion); “The Crown” (9.65 billion); and “Longmire” at 8.89 billion minutes consumed.

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At No. 1o on the Nielsen 2021 chart was Hulu original series, “The Handmaid’s Tale” with 8.56 billion minutes.

Nielsen’s weekly streaming charts tracks Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix.

When it came to movies, Disney+ (aided by Disney/Marvel Studios) asserted a growing dominance, placing the top-four movies streamed in the U.S., led by Luca with 10.59 billion minutes), Moana (8.9 billion), Raya and the Last Dragon (8.34 billion) and Frozen II (5.75 billion).

Netflix’s Red Notice was the No. 5 most-watched movie at 5.53 billion minutes, followed by Disney’s Frozen (5.42 billion minutes); Soul (5.28 billion); Cruella (5.17 billion); Jungle Cruise (4.43 billion); Black Widow (4.41 billion); Coco (4 billion); and Avengers: Endgame (3.68 billion).

Amazon Prime Video entered the chart at No. 12 with The Tomorrow War with 4.05 billion minutes consumed.

‘Eternals,’ ‘Book of Boba Fett’ Top Weekly Whip Media Streaming Charts

Eternals led the Whip Media chart of top streaming movies, while “The Book of Boba Fett” led the chart of top streaming originals among U.S. consumers the week ended Jan. 16. Both stream on Disney+.

The Marvel Studios feature Eternals, which began streaming on Disney+ Jan. 12 following its theatrical run, follows a group of ancient heroes from beyond the stars who have protected Earth since the dawn of man.

“The Book of Boba Fett,” the latest series in the “Star Wars” universe, started streaming Dec. 29 in weekly episodes.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with more than 19 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined by theatrical or streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

Dropping to No. 2 from the top spot on the streaming movies chart was Disney’s animated Encanto, which follows an extraordinary and magical family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia. It started streaming on Disney+ Christmas Eve.

Landing at No. 3 on the streaming movies chart was Sony’s animated Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, which started streaming on Prime Video Jan. 14. The latest entry in the franchise finds Drac (Brian Hull) and his monster pals transformed into humans and the human Johnny (Andy Samberg) into a monster. With help from Mavis (Selena Gomez), they must find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent. 

Falling from the top spot to No. 2 on the streaming originals chart was Netflix’s “Cobra Kai,” season four of which premiered New Year’s Eve. It’s the continuing story of the conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) decades after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament.

Debuting at No. 3 on the streaming originals chart was HBO Max’s “Peacemaker.” The show, which premiered on the service Jan. 13, is created by James Gunn based on the DC Comics character of the same name.

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Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Jan. 16:

  1. “The Book of Boba Fett” — Disney+
  2. “Cobra Kai” — Netflix
  3. “Peacemaker” — HBO Max  (Series Premiere)
  4. “The Witcher” — Netflix
  5. “Cheer” — Netflix (Season Premiere)
  6. “The Expanse” — Amazon Prime Video
  7. “1883” — Paramount+
  8. “Search Party” — HBO Max
  9. “And Just Like That …” — HBO Max
  10. “Emily in Paris” — Netflix

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers Jan. 14-16:

  1. Eternals — Disney+
  2. Encanto — Disney+
  3. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania — Amazon Prime Video
  4. Don’t Look Up — Netflix
  5. The Matrix Resurrections — HBO Max
  6. Brazen — Netflix
  7. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts — HBO Max
  8. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — Disney+
  9. Scream 2 — Peacock
  10. Scream — Peacock

Disney Shakes Up Streaming Organization, Puts Paull in Charge

The Walt Disney Co. on Jan. 19 announced a major shakeup of its streaming business, promoting Michael Paull to the new role of president, Disney Streaming, with oversight of  Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Star+.

Michael Paull

Paull, previously head of Disney+, reports to Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) chairman Kareem Daniel.

Joe Earley, previously EVP of marketing and operations for Disney+, has been appointed president of Hulu and reports to Paull. Earley replaces Kelly Campbell, who late last year left Hulu to take the reins of NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.

A successor to Paull will be named at a later date.

Disney says the moves are being made to support the expansion of its direct-to-consumer business around the world.

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Rebecca Campbell (Photo courtesy of ABC/Bob D’Amico)

The company also has established a new hub for international content creation that will be overseen by Rebecca Campbell.

Campbell’s focus, as chair of the International Content and Operations group, will be on local and regional content production for Disney’s family of streaming services. She remains in charge of Disney’s international media teams and reports directly to Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

The International Content and Operations group is Disney’s fourth content creation group and will operate alongside the Studios Content, General Entertainment Content and Sports Content groups.
 
“Disney’s direct-to-consumer efforts have progressed at a tremendous pace in just a few short years, and our organization has continued to grow and evolve in support of our ambitious global streaming strategy,” Chapek said in a statement. “Rebecca has played a vital role in orchestrating our global platform expansion, and I’m excited that she will be leading our new International Content group, bringing her expertise and talent to oversee the growing pipeline of original local and regional content for our streaming services while continuing to lead our international operations. Likewise, with a relentless focus on serving consumers, Kareem has developed an industry-leading team of seasoned executives who are uniquely equipped to take our streaming business into Disney’s next century.”

Paull came to Disney in 2017 from Amazon, where he headed Amazon Channels.

Disney+ Bows New Marvel Studios ‘Moon Knight’ Series Full-Length Trailer

The Jan. 17 NFC Super Wild Card blowout win by the Los Angeles Rams over the visiting Arizona Cardinals on ESPN/ABC was essentially a done deal at halftime. That left plenty of time for viewers to watch the exclusive full-length trailer for Marvel Studios’ new series “Moon Knight,” starring Oscar Issac, which is set to debut March 30 on Disney+.

The series follows Steven Grant (Issac), a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector (Ethan Hawke). As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.

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Mohamed Diab and the team of Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead directed the episodes. Jeremy Slater is the head writer, and Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Diab, Jeremy Slater and Isaac are the executive producers. Grant Curtis, Trevor Waterson and Rebecca Kirsch serve as co-executive producers.

‘Cobra Kai’ Still No. 1 on Parrot’s TV Series Demand Chart

Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” remained No. 1 on both Parrot Analytics’ digital originals U.S. rankings and the data firm’s list of all TV shows the week ended Jan. 14. The “Karate Kid” sequel series had 83.3 times the demand of the average series after a 6.6% drop in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity.

Netflix’s fantasy series “The Witcher” held onto the No. 2 spot on the digital originals chart with 53.6 times the demand of an average series during the week after a 19.3% drop in demand expressions. “The Witcher” was No. 3 on the list of overall TV shows.

The Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” and its spin-off “The Book of Boba Fett” held the next two spots, but flipped places from the previous week.

“Boba Fett” rose a spot to No. 3 on the digital originals chart, with its third of seven episodes bowing during the week, though it wasn’t very well received by fans. It had 39.4 times the demand of an average series following a 1.7% drop in demand expressions. “The Book of Boba Fett” was No. 10 on the list of overall TV shows.

“Mandalorian” slid to No. 4 on the digital originals chart with a 7.9% drop in demand expressions to give it 37.9 times the demand of an average series.

Netflix’s perennially popular “Stranger Things” inched back up to No. 5 with a 1.9% rise in demand expressions to take 34.6 times average demand.

Amazon Prime Video’s “The Expanse” had a 7.2% increase in demand expressions during the week with its series finale arriving Jan. 14. The sci-fi series had 30.6 times the average series demand to push it up four spots to re-enter the top 10 at No. 8. 

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The No. 2 overall TV series in terms of online demand was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” with 64.5 times average demand.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

 

Tim Allen to Reprise His Role in ‘The Santa Clause’ for Disney+ Limited Series

Tim Allen will executive-produce “The Santa Clause” (working title), a Disney+ original limited series in which he reprises the role of Scott Calvin from Walt Disney Pictures’ feature franchise.

Allen won a People’s Choice Award for his portrayal of Santa Claus’s proxy, complete with expanding waistline, rosy cheeks and snow-white whiskers in the 1994 film The Santa Clause. He went on to play the role in two sequels, 2002’s “The Santa Clause 2” and 2006’s “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.”

In the Disney+ series, Calvin is on the brink of his 65th birthday and realizing that he can’t be Santa forever. He’s starting to lose a step in his Santa duties, and more importantly, he’s got a family who could benefit from a life in the normal world, especially his two kids who have grown up at the Pole. With a lot of elves, children and family to please, Calvin sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in a life south of the pole.

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Production is set to begin in Los Angeles in March. Jack Burditt (“30 Rock,” “Modern Family,” “Frasier,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) is the executive producer and showrunner and Kevin Hench (“Last Man Standing”), Richard Baker and Rick Messina will also serve as executive producers.  

The Disney Branded Television series is a production of 20th Television.

Disney+ Launches Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ TV Ad

Disney+ on Jan. 12 debuted a new TV ad spot to market Marvel Studios’ superhero actioner Eternals, which began streaming exclusively on the platform that day.

Featuring an ensemble cast led by Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden, Eternals joins 13 other Marvel movies now streaming in Imax Enhanced expanded ration format on Disney+. More information about Imax Enhanced on Disney+ is available here.

Eternals follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who had protected the Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again.

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Chloé Zhao directs the film, and Kevin Feige and Nate Moore are the producers, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Kevin de la Noy serving as executive producers.

The Eternals DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray releases hit stores on Feb. 15.

‘Encanto,’ ‘Cobra Kai’ Top Weekly Whip Media Streaming Charts

Disney+’s Encanto led the Whip Media chart of top streaming movies, while the Netflix series “Cobra Kai” again led the chart of top streaming originals among U.S. consumers the week ended Jan. 9.

The animated Encanto, available simultaneously in theaters, follows an extraordinary and magical family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia. It started streaming on Christmas Eve.

“Cobra Kai,” season four of which premiered New Year’s Eve, is the continuing story of the conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) decades after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with more than 19 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined by theatrical or streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

Dropping to No. 2 from the top spot on the streaming movies chart was Netflix’s Don’t Look Up, which began streaming Dec. 24. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep and follows astronomers on a media tour to warn the planet about an approaching comet.

Slipping from No. 2 to No. 3 on the streaming movies chart was the HBO Max retrospective Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, which started streaming Jan. 1.

Remaining at No. 2 on the streaming originals chart was the fantasy drama “The Witcher,” season two of which debuted on Netflix Dec. 17. Based on the book series, it stars Henry Cavill as the witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter.

Landing at No. 3 on the streaming originals chart was Disney+’s “The Book of Boba Fett,” the latest series in the “Star Wars” universe. It started streaming Dec. 29 in weekly episodes.

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Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Jan. 9:

  1. “Cobra Kai” — Netflix
  2. “The Witcher” — Netflix
  3. “The Book of Boba Fett” — Disney+
  4. “Queer Eye” — Netflix
  5. “Emily in Paris” — Netflix
  6. “The Expanse” — Amazon Prime Video
  7. “And Just Like That …” — HBO Max
  8. “Station Eleven” — HBO Max
  9. “Hawkeye” — Disney+
  10. “Mayor of Kingstown” — Paramount+

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers Jan. 7-9:

  1. Encanto — Disney+
  2. Don’t Look Up — Netflix
  3. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts — HBO Max
  4. The Matrix Resurrections — HBO Max
  5. Red Notice — Netflix
  6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — Disney+
  7. The Tender Bar — Amazon Prime Video
  8. The Unforgivable — Netflix
  9. Ron’s Gone Wrong — Disney+
  10. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard — HBO Max