Airing February 21 on ABC, the The Wonderful World of Disney special will celebrate Disneyland’s 60-year legacy.
Variety reports that Disney began pitching the free TV rights – technically basic cable – on the Star Wars films last week, for all three trilogies. The asking price on is claimed to be “high” – even for the “vintage” titles. Movie rights are worth less and less to networks these days, but Star Wars seems to be an exception.
Spike TV held the Star Wars rights through 2014, paying $65-$70 million for six years and six films. The Indiana Jones films went for about $25M each in 2008.
Cable outlets who have met or are meeting with Disney include Turner, FX Networks, Viacom, NBCUniversal (which owns SyFy, which aired A New Hope when it first launched as the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network, who had the rights to the original trilogy in the 90s,) A+E Networks and AMC Networks.
Variety cites speculation that the pitches to outside networks may be Disney’s way of seeing “what the market will bear” – aka covering their ass – before settling the rights on one of their own networks. (I’ve been expecting the films will indeed show up on Freeform.)
The Force Awakens will debut on Starz next year as the last film under the channel’s deal with Disney. TFA likely won’t show up on basic cable until 2018, while Episode VIII and IX will go to Netflix first under Disney’s current deal with the streaming service.
There are no plans “at the moment” for a live-action Star Wars TV show, ABC president Paul Lee told TVLine.
Note that has no bearing on the the Netflix rumors that pop up regularly. That still seems like the most likely option to me – though I do hope they don’t go with the old ‘Underworld’ concept.
n any case, I remain wary of more Star Wars on TV. Even a light half-hour show like Rebels feels like unnecessary burden at times, and a longer, more adult-oriented one on top of that seems like it would be a bit too much Star Wars. (At least when we’re getting yearly movies.) But then again, that could just be my natural, over-extended grump.
Outtakes and alternate takes from Saturday Night Live’s Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base sketch with Adam Driver from last week.
Rebels returned last night with ‘A Princess on Lothal,’ and on Rebels Recon, Andi Gutierrez discusses bringing Princess Leia to the show with Henry Gilroy, Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo. Also, a B-wing question!
Here’s some good news for fans hungry for more ladies in the toy aisle – There’ll be a Princess Leia figure based on her Rebels appearance from Hasbro. The 3¾ figure will be in stores this fall.
In less happy toy news, there’s a new report that lays the cause of the lack of Rey toys at the feet of Lucasfilm themselves. A purported insider described a January 2015 vendor meeting with the company to the blog Sweatpants and Coffee:
The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.
“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”
Hasbro is releasing more toys with Rey and other female characters, like Leia, aren’t being left out entirely. (And note that while there are certainly far less Rey items, she wasn’t totally excluded from the first wave of products.) But the report does show there’s a lot of work to be done at every level.
Last night’s Saturday Night Live was delayed by football, but it went off pretty well. Adam Driver was part of almost every sketch on his first time hosting (save for the cold open and Weekend Update,) but the highlight was no doubt Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base:
Lightsaber jokes? Emo Kylo Ren? What will Adam Driver bring to Saturday Night Live?
Rebels will return later this month with ‘A Princess on Lothal’ – featuring Star Wars’ number one princess, Leia Organa herself.
“We thought we had an opportunity to show her learning to be a leader, experimenting with the personality that becomes the stronger more resolute character you see in A New Hope,” Dave Filoni told TV Insider. “One of the complex challenges of depicting Leia in Rebels is that we have to remind the audience that at this point she is part of the Empire. She doesn’t believe in the Empire, but she is acting the part, almost a double agent.”
Julie Dolan (Star Wars: Uprising) will voice Leia.
Lucasfilm has released a clip:
‘A Princess in Lothal’ airs Wednesday, January 20 at 9:00 P.M. on Disney XD.