ABC Revives 'Wonderful World of Disney' Banner For Movie Series



The network follows CBS in scheduling a block of theatrical films to help fill out its primetime schedule.

ABC has brought back its Wonderful World of Disney banner for a series of theatrical movies that will air on the network.

The four films will run on Wednesday nights for four weeks. The first installment, with Disney Animation's Moana, took place last night (May 20). Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Jared Bush all live-tweeted the broadcast using #TheWonderfulWorldOfDisney.

ABC is following in the footsteps of CBS, which started its own Sunday movie night on May 3 with Raiders of the Lost Ark. (All of the films in CBS' five-week series are from its ViacomCBS sibling Paramount Pictures.)

Moana will be followed by Marvel's Thor: The Dark World on May 27, Pixar's Up on June 3 and Disney Animation's Big Hero 6 on June 10. All four are also available on the Disney+ streaming platform.

The movies will help bridge the gap between the end of the September-to-May season and the summer lineup. Starting with Thor: The Dark World, the pics will lead into the final season of Agents of SHIELD, which premieres May 27.

ABC won't have the NBA Finals to air in June, as the league is still on hold due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The network is rolling out its lineup of game shows earlier than usual to help fill that hole.

Movie nights were long a staple of broadcast schedules, but were gradually eliminated in the 1990s and 2000s as premium cable became the primary outlet for TV premieres of theatrical films. Prior to this month, ABC was the last broadcaster to have a regularly scheduled movie night. That was back in the 2007-08 season, when it aired films in the low-traffic environment of Saturday night.

CBS saw decent returns from its showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark on Sunday, averaging about 5.3 million viewers.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.


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