Disney Channel executives have been busy in August. We’ve received exclusive intel that in addition to the renewal of Villains of Valley View (first announced by Variety) for a 2nd season, Disney has handed out shocking, unprecedented renewals for both Bunk’d and Raven’s Home. You may recall we were first to report their renewals last year and here we are doing it again. Both series underwent soft reboots during their current, unexpected 6th and 5th seasons. It’s so bonkers to think 2 years ago no Disney Channel live-action series had ever gone beyond 4 seasons and yet here we are with two shows simultaneously blazing new paths.
We can also confirm that both series have 20-episode initial orders, so these aren’t quick, 13 episode seasons. What we don’t know at this time is whether there will be casting changes, but we suspect it’s inevitable. We anticipate the Raven’s Home cast to remain relatively unchanged after the majority of the actors parted way between seasons 4 and 5. With Raven’s estranged (?) mom Tanya (played by T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh) finally re-appearing later this year for the first time since season 3 of That’s So Raven, could she be sticking around?
Bunk’d, which has gone even longer, may be most likely to see 4-year veteran Mallory James Mahoney move on. Ms. Mahoney seems to be itching for more complex roles, if her guest appearance in On My Block as the foul-mouthed child popstar Ainsley Riches is anything to go by. Disney may want to offer her the lead in a Disney+ series before she leaps for Netflix like most of their former stars. We’ve long pulled for her to portray Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century if Disney remembered this franchise existed.
Renewing Bunk’d for a 7th season even FURTHER extends the amount of time Netflix will have exclusive streaming rights. Once Disney cancels the series, 4 years must pass before Disney+ can stream it in USA. At some point they’re going to need to just buyout that deal because it’s plain old goofy for the longest running Disney Channel series in history to remain unavailable to their subscribers until 2027 or later!
Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion
Unfortunately, it’s not all confetti and cake. Villains of Valley View may live to fight another day, but its superhero block mate, Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion is heading to early retirement. Disney Channel decided to end the series after only 1 season. It’s a disappointing ending for yet another Latina superhero this year. First Leslie Grace’s Batgirl, now Scarlett Estevez’s Violet? This year has actually been marked by a concerning amount of Hispanic-led series cancelled too soon.
First announced way back in January 2020, it was intended to star professional wrestler Blue Demon Jr. and have a heavier luchadore / profesional wrestling influence. The pandemic and other behind the scenes issues resulted in a long road to get the show off the ground. The first major issue is that the pandemic left the series from receiving full greenlight until January 2021, one year later. At that time, Scarlett Estevez joined the series as Ultra Violet.
For reasons unknown, Blue Demon Jr. departed the series along with the original producer and it was retooled as Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion. In August 2021, J.R. Villarreal tagged in as Black Scorpion to replace Blue Demon and the series finally filmed. Disney could have aired a special sneak peek of the pilot during Hispanic Heritage month in 2021, but did not. When it finally premiered this past June, it seemed that they’d been holding it back for a few months already. Then, it felt like they were burning it off when they dropped the entire summer’s set of 10 episodes on Disney+ right away. The television ratings certainly suffered from this decision.
Its block-mate Villains had a different rollout. Instead of dropping all the summer’s episodes they added 5 to Disney+ just before the 5th episode aired, then waited until the second half of Season 1A aired before streaming the rest. Did Disney give up Ultra Violet before it ever premiered?
How do you feel about these changes? Are you in shock that Bunk’d is still going? Did you watch Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion on TV or on Disney+? Are you sad to see her adventures end so soon? Feel free to leave a comment on our socials and discuss!
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.