It’s an odd sort of time for the pop culture landscape, filled with lots of pros and (as always, alas) a few cons. One of the pros (maybe) of recent times is the proliferation of a huge number of shows hitting the airwaves courtesy of the ROKU/streaming phenomenon. Simply put, there’s a lot more variety out in the great Wild West of television entertainment than even my boob tube-gorged gray matter can successfully manage. And believe me Dear and Constant Reader(s?), I’ve imbibed a lot of television shows in my forty-seven years on good ol’ Terra Firma. Apparently, the fine folks over at Disney+ want to ensure my noggin goes full-on Re-Animator, because on this very day they have announced – courtesy of our ever-scoopin’ (and better dressed) cousins at Variety – that they are adding a trio of scripted U.K. television series to their lineup from some very well-known creatives.
Award-winning scribe Sally Wainwright of Happy Valley fame, Killing Eve wunderkind producer Sally Woodward Gentle and producers Stephen Garrett (The Night Manager) and Faith Penhale (Les Miserables) have all inked respective deals to bring their original shows to the Disney+ streaming service. What sort of shows, you might ask? Well, let’s unpack the contents of this particular deal, Ladies and Gents…
First out of the gate is a show from Wainwright called The Ballad of Renegade Nell and is being touted as a “Disney-branded swashbuckling adventure series.” Set in the merry old days of the 18th century, the new series follows one Nell Jackson who, after being framed for murder feels compelled to enter the life of highway robbery. She quickly realizes two things: 1.) Highway robbery bad. Very bad. 2.) She has a greater destiny that involves power struggles that reaches into the far corners of power.
For the sophomore show we have something called Culprits which is a dark comedy about a heist gone abysmally wrong. This one is created by J Blakeson of I Care A Lot and produced by Stephen Garrett.
Last but never least is Extraordinary, a show about a woman named Jen who exists in a world where everyone has a super power…except for her. Dangers of conformity is the lesson here, methinks. This intriguing premise is brought to you by the aforementioned Sally Woodward Gentle from an original idea by Emma Moran.
In a press release, Disney+ said that this trio of new shows “represents exactly where we want to be with our commissioning strategy for Disney and Star – projects of scale, originality and with top talent attached.”
Vents will keep you up to date on casting and drop dates for these new shows as they become available to us (hint, hint Disney+)!