Disney Headlines for April 15th, 2022

This week, Disney+ gets real with its dancing, while Walt Disney World commits to its cast members.

We’ve got significant subjects in the latest Disney Headlines.

Chip Dale

Disney+ with the Stars

If you’ve watched five minutes of Dancing with the Stars in your life, you’re legitimately at least four and a half minutes ahead of me.

These days, my appetite for reality television starts and ends with Top Chef and The Amazing Race. Oh, and I guess I should add Is It Cake?

top boss

Anyway, other than being a recovering Survivor viewer, I never followed the reality show craze as much as some.

So, while I’m outwardly aware of Dancing with the Stars, most of my knowledge stems from numbers, not routines.

(ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

I know that the show’s first season peaked at 22 million viewers in 2005. You might not reach those numbers if you put together a full night of network television now.

The reality is that ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC have dwindled in drawing power over the past decade.

Dancing with the Stars Disney

Credit: Disney

To wit, Dancing with the Stars has lost 70 percent of its viewing audience. The most recent season finale maxed at 6.8 million viewers.

Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has committed to streaming as his company’s new core business.

Source: Variety.com

The head of Disney has promised 240 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024. As such, he’s always looking for ways to juice his subscriber numbers.

Chapek’s latest gambit represents the boldest one yet. The next two seasons of Dancing with the Stars will air exclusively on Disney+.

Dancing with the Stars

Image Credit: ABC

In other words, you won’t be able to watch them on ABC from now on.

Why This Move Matters

This news might upset you if you’re a Dancing with the Stars fan who doesn’t subscribe to Disney+.

On this front, I have excellent news. Disney+ will introduce an ad-supported tier later this year. So you should be able to watch your show this way. However, the change is a daring one for Disney. No streaming service has ever broadcast a live reality series of this nature.

In other words, Disney+ is about performing a live weekly stress test where millions of viewers watch Dancing with the Stars.

Disney

Disney is doing this for several reasons, not just to increase subscriber totals. The company also wants to gauge demand for such projects.

Feasibly, Disney+ will eventually rely more on live broadcasts as it matures as a business.

tablet

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

So, Dancing with the Stars will help Disney executives determine where they stand with the service.

The company could use this data as it plans the future of ESPN+ as well. Remember that network and cable television are dying.

ESPN

Photo: ESPN+

To date, none of the live broadcasts on ESPN+ have even approached the level of demand for Dancing with the Stars.

Also, Disney must simultaneously operate live voting to determine fan-favorite performances on the reality show.

(ABC/Eric McCandless)

That information could lead to the next iteration of immersive streaming, wherein viewer interactivity is a standard feature.

Folks, this is a HUGE step for Disney+.

DisneyPlus

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Affordable Housing Coming to Walt Disney World

Based on the data we have thus far, I see this next headline as a nice start but little more.

Still, Disney has garnered plenty of attention for the project, forcing us to discuss it.

affordable housing

Photo: Disney

As you might have heard, Walt Disney World has committed 80 acres of land toward the construction of affordable housing units.

Disney already owned the land and has promised to add 1,300 units. As a reminder, the company employs roughly 70,000 people.

Cast Members

Photo: Disney

This housing will only address 1.7 percent of those workers. Also, Disney has asked 2,000 California residents to transfer to Lake Nona, Florida.

You can tell where I’m going with this. During the pandemic, the housing market has exploded in many areas of the country…but especially in Central Florida.

Cast Members

Now that many people are permanently working from home, they want to live close to Walt Disney World.

My wife and I discussed moving to Florida last year. So, I set up a Zillow tracker.

.Credit:Julie Fletcher/Orlando Sentinel, via Associated Press

My most recent update suggests that the average cost of a home in Celebration, Florida, stood at $312,912 last year. But unfortunately, that number has risen to $407,927…in a calendar year.

GlassDoor and ZipRecruiter suggest that cast members earn somewhere between $16,000 and $65,000 per year.

Image Credit: Disney

Presuming that the housing market doesn’t cool off soon, cast members might not be able to afford to live in the city where they work. It’s a massive problem.

Bob Iger quit Disney four months ago, but I still see him defend his tenure in interviews.

Iger Mickey

Photo: AFP

Reporters continue to ask him about Disneyland cast members living in their cars because their salaries cannot match the area’s high cost of living.

Nobody Orlando wants to face that future as well. So, Disney must commit to building enough housing for its workers.

Home for sale

Miscellaneous Headlines

We’ll close out the week with some casting news, some of which will put a smile on your face.

You probably knew that Disney+ is creating a new series based on the film franchise, National Treasure.

National Treasure

I’ll presume you’ve watched at least one of these ridiculous but entertaining movies. They were a cheap rip off of The Da Vinci Code.

The first of them actually beat The Da Vinci Code into theaters, and what you may not remember is that Nic Cage was only one of the male leads.

An unknown actor named Justin Bartha played Riley Poole, the film’s computer expert. Besides this role, Bartha is mainly known as the dude getting married in The Hangover.

Well, in a shocking development, Bartha’s schedule is open enough for him to appear in the National Treasure TV series! Go figure!

As such, you can expect tons of insider jokes about Nic Cage and his character, Benjamin Franklin Gates.

Remarkably, that’s only the second-most significant casting update this week. Disney+ is also producing a series based on the Percy Jackson franchise.

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/WireImage)

You may recall that Rick Riordan, the franchise’s creator, loathed the movies. So, he has taken a personal interest in the TV series, even writing some episodes.

Well, Riordan and Disney have found their Percy Jackson. Walker Scobell, the star of Netflix’s The Adam Project, wants to portray the son of Poseidon.

Walker Scobell

Photo: IMDB.com

Hopefully, the kid can release some Krakens. Either way, he’s about to become one of his generation’s most famous Disney child actors.

Finally, I haven’t linked any lists for a while. Here’s one that amused me greatly. How would you rank these Disney Princess love interests?

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Feature Photo: Disney

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