Disney's Biggest New Show is Borrowing a Trendy Streaming Trick From Star Wars
Disney+’s new series is perfectly poised to be a hit.
Disney+ may be a latecomer to the streaming market with a 2019 debut, but it has made every effort to stay on the cutting edge, whether that’s revolutionizing pandemic-era releases with its “Premium Access” or releasing What If...? Season 2 with an episode a day over the last few days of 2023.
But its biggest innovation has been a unique release structure meant to not only compete with other streamers but also broadcast television as a whole. At first, it was thought to be reserved for its Star Wars and Marvel offerings, but a new show has proven all bets are off.
On Tuesday night, Disney+ made the first two episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians available, six hours before they were slated to release at midnight PST/3:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday. Soon after, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the rest of the eight episode series will release on Tuesday nights at 6:00 p.m. PST/9:00 p.m. EST.
This release strategy was introduced by Star Wars spinoff series Ahsoka and repeated by Marvel series Loki, but it’s not something the streamer uses lightly. For example, the next two Marvel series What If...? Season 2 and Echo weren’t given the same treatment.
Disney+ giving Percy Jackson this release is a huge vote of confidence in the series. It may be the first non-franchise show to release at prime time, but it could become a tentpole franchise for the platform in only a few years. Going off the fan reaction to the surprise drop, the series is already a hit — and fans are already speculating what will happen in seasons that haven’t been confirmed yet.
With this new development, any Disney+ original could come earlier than you expected. And the sudden announcement, compared to the earlier shows which were moved up a few days ahead of time, means the release shift could happen at any time. It’s a great way to stoke fan excitement and allow a truly universal viewing experience, instead of fans either staying up late or waking up early.