Instead of airing “American Idol” on Sunday and Monday nights this May, ABC has decided to bring back its “Wonderful World of Disney” movie series. And this time: it’s all animation.
Monday May 3rd sees the network TV premiere of Disney/Pixar’s 2018 Oscar nominated blockbuster sequel “Incredibles 2”.
On May 10th it’s the network television debut of another Pixar follow-up, 2016’s “Finding Dory”.
Then on May 17th, ABC will air “Monsters, Inc.” The Billy Crystal and John Goodman-led comedy celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. And the two stars return for the new Disney+ series “Monsters at Work”, which premieres July 2nd.
2010’s “Tangled” will be the May 24th feature. This marks the second ABC appearance for Disney’s twist on the Rapunzel story. It debuted on Sunday February 19, 2017 to 3.8 million viewers.
And on Memorial Day, Monday May 31st at 8pm, it’s 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog”.
Last May and June, ABC devoted five Wednesday nights in a row to “The Wonderful World of Disney” with “Moana”, “Thor: The Dark World”, “Up”, “Big Hero 6” and “Toy Story 3”. They averaged 2.8 million viewers. The network aired a special, commercial-free broadcast of “Black Panther” on August 30th (just after the passing of star Chadwick Boseman) to 6.3 million viewers.
“Wonderful World” returned for “Guardians of the Galaxy” in September and “Coco” in October. And this past January, ABC gave three Tuesday nights in a row to the 2019 version of “The Lion King”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and 2015’s take on “Cinderella”.
We’ll see how this group of films does. ABC has figured out that even though so many families have seen these movies (either in theaters, on DVD or on Disney+), some simply have not. And it’s a smart way to throw-in commercials for Disney+ content (…and a way for ABC to not have to worry about filling-up these timeslots with new programming).