Can’t believe I’m writing this story.
They’ve done it again.
How is this real?
We saw on the “Coming to Disney+ in October” list no sign of Doogie and we still held out hope for a surprise.
I can’t believe there are people who work for a company as big and successful as Disney making such flagrantly awful decisions. I don’t even know who is to blame for this. Is it Content Exec Joe Earley? Is it Michael Paull – head of Disney streaming? Is it a decree from CEO Bob Chapek? Did Robert Iger’s contract specify that until he retired he wanted franchises intentionally split between Disney’s libraries? Did they sign a blood oath to some rabid suburban Karen promising to never let Disney+ see classic TV because it could be inappropriate?
The continued efforts to keep Hulu’s ABC / Fox series library unchanged have now seen ~20 ABC and Freeform series perfect for Disney+ get renewed over the past 2 years and stay put. This is always mere days before exiting instead of changing services to where they belong alongside other family friendly content, and it is alarming to witness.
As you’ll recall since the marketing of Doogie Kamealoha, MD started (a great show, that Disney apparently doesn’t want to reach full potential with the most logical boost possible) our only complaint has been the ridiculous decision to not add Doogie Howser to the same streaming service. Never mind that they share the same content rating of TV-PG.
A couple weeks ago the internet rejoiced when Doogie went up for expiration on Hulu. We broke the news and the article is now one of our top 5 most-viewed stories. We received many excited comments which shows us how much USA subscribers are tired of the treatment they receive and most of the comments implied that in one way or another. In the article we mentioned that Disney has always chosen to keep every show on Hulu, despite the contracts lapsing. In spite of TV-PG ratings. People were excited nonetheless because like us, they assumed there was no earthly way an original iteration of a franchise expiring early in the run of its reboot wouldn’t make the move during that magical contract renewal period.
We all saw it coming but we refused to believe it would happen AGAIN.
We should have known – they did the exact same ridiculous thing in 2020 when the Freeform series 10 Things I Hate About You got renewed instead of moving to Disney+ alongside it’s more mature film. People at the time tore their hair out trying to understand why the more adult film was okay for Disney+ but the less mature series too grown up. And of course it made zero sense to anyone why Disney chose to intentionally harm both by keeping the franchise separate.
Disney Deja Vu!
There is genuinely no way to see this other than disrespect to roughly half the subscribers of Disney+ in the USA. Disney insists on Disney Junior-ifying this service. As others in the community have said ad nauseum, it’s wild they add anything TV-14 or PG-13 at all as they seem to want everything baby-friendly. They haven’t even uncensored the censorship in Free Solo or Splash! – titles rated PG and PG-13 – despite the negative press at launch. Titles within Disney’s allowed content range still receive censorship!
There is no regard for personal agency of their subscribers and the parental controls seem to be a cruel joke. They’re barely needed in USA. Even Latin America gives Disney+ subscribers more respect. They have GLEE. A series which was hard TV-14 at times! They have FRESH OFF THE BOAT and SINGLE PARENTS – actual bingeable TV sitcoms from ABC.
Every other service gives parents the opportunity to parent their kids AND provides content for adult. Disney has at numerous times bragged about how many adults subscribe and when Kevin Mayer was running things PROMISED multiple times that adult content would be coming (albeit not Rated R / TV-MA).
That has not happened.
Disney+ Was Supposed To Be Better
Adults WANT and EXPECT bingeable TV series. Classic series. The Simpsons inexplicably remains one of their cornerstone titles despite being more mature than most content they stream. It’s abundantly clear that prior to launch Disney’s former content team had better plans for the service – remember the infamous false advertising that Malcom in the Middle was going to be one of the first series at launch? Remember how all the initial launch marketing singled it out? Remember how disappointed people were when the official launch list went out without it? Remember all the angry comments for months afterwards asking when it would arrive? Remember how its absence was never acknowledged? You realize if The Simpsons hadn’t been so popular they would have reneged on that too…
Disney provides Disney Junior and Disney Channel shows with The Muppets, The Muppet Show and Dinosaurs thrown in for a bone. Apparently for an ABC or Fox series to skip Hulu it has to involve Jim Henson?!
At every juncture like this, Disney chooses the service they inherited (Hulu) versus the service they own and built from the ground up.
If you’re having a good day remember that someone at Disney made a conscious decision to renew Doogie Howser which just happened to come up for renewal at the perfect time to make the change to Disney+ where it could properly sit alongside its reboot and unite the franchise. Do they not want the series to perform as well as it could? Throwing away that opportunity to market them together and for people to watch them and discover each other is beyond bonkers!
The timing, the marketing opportunity, the boost for the new series Doogie Kamealoha… somehow none of that meant anything and Doogie will continue to be licensed to the same streaming service for an unprecedented 14th year!
While someone at Disney may not be invested in Lahela Kamealoha, we are. We ask you to please watch Doogie Kamealoha. It’s a fantastic series. It deserves multiple seasons. It deserved its namesake to stream alongside in a collection.
If you feel the same way we do PLEASE let Disney know using help.disneyplus.com and click Give Feedback. They will never change until people make it clear you want change.
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.