Last week the merger between Disney and FOX was finalised, with Disney acquiring many of the studio’s assets, including the 20th Century Fox film and TV studios. The merger has been highly controversial, with many film fanbases split on the issue. While the attention has mostly been kept on larger assets, loads of smaller properties are feeling the pressure of the deal, including TV shows. The Exorcist series now belongs to Disney, for example, with series creator Jeremy Slater worrying the show won’t fare well out of the deal.
He expressed his fears for the series on Twitter, where he said:
“This Fox/Disney merger is awful for a number of reasons, and I can’t imagine it means good things for the future of our show.”
The Exorcist, Fox
He later reiterated these concerns in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, again staunchly against the Fox/Disney merger. Although hopeful that Disney might find a place for The Exorcist on their streaming channels, he stated that he would even consider taking the series to another network if they couldn’t make it through Fox:
“I think this Fox-Disney deal… it doesn’t mean great things for 20th Century Fox as a studio and Fox as a network, but you also never know. Now, we’re not necessarily on brand for Disney, but they’re also going to need a lot of content to fill their streaming platforms and networks, so I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of options.
“We definitely have passionate fans at the network and at the studio — we just don’t have the audience — and so I don’t know whether the option is to roll the dice and just keep producing the show because it’s something they believe in, or maybe taking our very loyal fan base that would probably follow us anywhere we go. I think that would be hopefully an attractive prospect if you’re a streaming service or something like that that wants to be competitive in the horror genre. I feel that we’ve made the best horror show on TV for two years running and the fans that have discovered us will follow us. I remain optimistic.”
Some believe the reasoning for the merger is to bring many of Fox’s comic book characters, like the X-Men, into Disney’s official Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, some are also worried about the intentions Disney may have now they own so many of Fox’s beloved properties, like Alien, The X-Files, The Simpsons.
The uncertainty surrounding Slater and his series is something that will be common for many creators of smaller films and series that don’t fit the Disney “brand”. It’s an unpredictable time at moment, as we don’t know what properties Disney intends to axe and what they’ll want to do something with. Only when the turbulence of the deal settles will we get a better idea of the studio’s intentions.