Disney raids US streamer Hulu & ABC for Star’s initial content offering

Big Sky

Disney has unveiled some of the first titles to launch on its new Star branded streaming offering next month, including the first two so-called originals – ABC thriller Big Sky and Hulu’s romantic comedy Love, Victor – which will be shown internationally for the first time.

Big Sky comes from Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley and follows two private detectives (played by Kyle Bunbury and Ryan Phillippe) as they join forces with one of the duo’s estranged wives and an ex-cop (Katheryn Winnick) to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana.

The series, which is based on CJ Box’s novel The Highway, originally premiered on Disney-owned ABC in November 2020 and is produced by David E. Kelley Productions, A+E Studios and 20th Television.

Love, Victor, meanwhile, is set in the same world as the 2018 feature film Love, Simon and follows a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery as he struggles with his sexual orientation.

The show first aired on sibling Disney-owned streamer Hulu in June 2020 and was renewed for a second season in August. It is produced by Temple Hill Entertainment and 20th Television.

Doubling down

Star is Disney’s new DTC general entertainment label and is set to debut in Europe and some other international markets on 23 February, offering content from ABC Studios, Fox Television, FX and 20th Century Studios.

It is included as part of Disney+ in some territories and will launch as a separate OTT service in Latin America – where it will be known as Star+ – in June 2021.

Its addition to Disney+ will more than double the amount of content available on the streaming service, with other series being added including action-drama 24, mystery-thriller Lost, comedy How I Met Your Mother and supernatural thriller The X-Files, while the Die Hard movie franchise will be among its feature offerings.

In Europe, Disney+, including Star, will be priced at €8.99 ($10.90) per month or €89.99 per year, with a similar pricing adjustment in the other Star launch markets, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The streaming service will continue its global rollout, beginning with Singapore, followed by Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea later in 2021.

Star+ in Latin America will be priced at $7.50 per month (or the local equivalent), or as part of a bundle with Disney+ for $9.00 per month.

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