Last week, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Disney+ is moving the release date for new original series content from Fridays to Tuesdays, marking a shift in how the company releases original content on their streaming platform.
The change will be happening beginning in July, which will begin affecting any new original shows that are released from there on out – including, for instance, the Monsters at Work series that was originally set to release on July 2 and now will be releasing July 7 instead. It’s unclear exactly what this means for The Bad Batch, but the impression I get is that the show will continue to release on Fridays, but that any new Star Wars series that releases moving forward will drop on Wednesdays. That obviously will include shows like The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and more.
THR notes that this change only affects original series and not other content, like original films or other material being brought to Disney+, and that the change is happening in order to better help accommodate the growing release of content, allowing the shows from Star Wars and Marvel and other properties to have their own breathing room on Wednesdays. THR also notes that this move distances Disney+ from Netflix, which also releases their content on Fridays. Of course, the move was also precipitated by Loki moving from an originally-planned Friday release schedule to Wednesdays instead, and it has been a hit.
But I’ll be honest: I find this news extremely disappointing. I loved the Friday release schedule and I think we had all grown used to it. It reminds me a bit of how we all grew used to the December/Christmas release of Star Wars films in the Disney era, and then when Solo released in May instead, fans wished they had kept with the Christmas release time. (And on that note, I’m glad that it seems future Star Wars theatrical releases will be keeping to that same time as well.) It’s all a matter of what we’re used to, of course, but just like I enjoy the Christmas release for films, so too do I enjoy the Friday release for shows.
Furthermore, if the whole idea is just to accommodate the growing volume of original content, I’m a bit skeptical that this will do a whole lot to help that. Disney+ is throwing a ton of new content on their platform, which is great, but it seems that the biggest hits so far have been the Star Wars and Marvel shows. Which will now be releasing on the same day anyway. Thus far Disney+ hasn’t released Star Wars and Marvel series on the same day, but that seems inevitable before long, especially with this change. But I can’t help but think that they might better accomplish their goal if they kept Star Wars releases on Friday and released Marvel content on Wednesdays; that would allow both of these major franchises a few days to garner attention and get people talking on social media, as well as stretch things out throughout the week like TV channels do.
One other thing to note is that I’m not convinced that Loki is the best one to measure all of this by. I have no doubt that Star Wars and Marvel shows, among others, will continue to be big hits, but pretty much everyone knew that Loki was going to be a massive hit well before it was even released. So of course it’d do well, whether on a Friday or a Wednesday. I don’t know how predictive that will be… but at the same time, I recognize that Disney has a lot of people a lot smarter than me who get paid a good amount of money to figure these things out, so I’m confident they know what they’re doing.
So ultimately, it just comes down to this: as a fan, I’m really disappointed that we won’t be having the Friday Star Wars episodes releasing anymore, and I hope Disney would maybe reconsider this in the near future. But if not, then I’m confident we’ll all just make the adjustment to watching on Wednesdays, and eventually that will feel normal too.