Disney and Lucasfilm announced today that Andor will be getting a broader release outside of Disney+ next week, as the first two episodes of the series will air on ABC, FX, Freeform, and Hulu beginning on Wednesday, November 23.
The episodes will air on ABC at 9:00 p.m. on November 23, on FX at 9:00 p.m. on November 24, on Freeform at 9:00 p.m. on November 25, and on Hulu available from November 23 through December 7.
This is an unprecedented move for the Walt Disney Company, as it marks the first Disney+ original series to air on ABC or these other networks. It’s a release that coincides with the Thanksgiving holiday but also with the season finale of Andor, which will premiere on Disney+ on November 23 as well. What the move suggests is that Disney thinks this series has the potential to pull in new audiences to the streaming platform by enticing them with this series, and it’s understandable why. It’s a fantastic show that has been met with overwhelming critical acclaim, and it marks a totally new kind of Star Wars series. That latter fact could be part of the factor in putting Andor on these other network like this, as it could engage some people who have been otherwise not overly enthralled with the franchise.
It does seem notable that this is the series to get this treatment by Disney, as opposed to something like the Obi-Wan Kenobi series that saw the return of beloved characters and actors, but I’m not sure we should read too much into that. Its release didn’t coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday, for one, but also it’s fair to think that a good number of the people who would be interested in that series are already Star Wars fans. Andor seems to be the best bet the franchise has had in quite a while to engage other fans with a new genre, a new feel, and a new style.
Although, with all of this said, I think it’s incredibly strange that they’re dropping the first two episodes instead of the first three. They decided to release the first three all at once on Disney+ when it premiered, and it was a great call. This series takes different arcs, which include slow builds until a climactic conclusion. That’s certainly true of the first arc, and I’m just not sure how much those first two episodes – without seeing the third – are going to convince people to subscribe to this platform and check out the series. Maybe I’m wrong, but it just feels so weird that Disney would go to this kind of effort to promote it and yet not give it the best chance to truly capture audiences.
But, in the end, whatever is going to get more people watching Andor is going to be great, because the series is fantastic and deserves the attention. It’s cool to see the show heading to ABC and these other channels, and I wonder if this will be a tactic Disney again returns to down the road.