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Disney Channel’s ‘Descendants 2’ Gets Mega-Premiere Across Five Networks

Variety logo Variety 4/25/2017 Elizabeth Wagmeister
© Provided by Variety

Descendants 2” — the sequel to the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “Descendants” — is getting a massive boost for its summer premiere with a simultaneous debut across five different networks in Disney/ABC Television Group, including a primetime broadcast slot.

“Descendants 2” will premiere on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Freeform, Lifetime and ABC on Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m. The TV movie will also be available on-demand and on those five networks’ digital platforms.

The announcement was made by Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, who said, “‘Descendants’ fans asked for more, and we’ve answered their call, with more ways to watch and more ways to engage with the next chapter in their favorite TV movie,” said Sherwood. “We’re combining the magic of Disney Channel content with the power and reach of our linear networks and digital platforms to ensure we’re everywhere our fans are all at the same time.”

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, added, “The passion that fans — across every demographic and geographic landscape — have demonstrated for ‘Descendants’ rivals anything we’ve seen since ‘High School Musical.’ Sharing the new sequel movie across our far-reaching portfolio of TV networks and digital platforms is something only Disney can do — and we do it proudly.”

The original “Descendants” was the top-rated TV movie of 2015, bringing in 12.2 million total viewers, and ranks as the fifth most-watched movie in cable TV history. Overall, the flick has reached over 100 million total viewers worldwide. “Descendants” videos on Disney’s YouTube channels have garnered more than a billion views, and the franchise has spawned books and products, including an upcoming YA novel by Melissa de la Cruz to be released May 23, plus a new tween product line for the sequel that will be out this summer.

About the kids of Disney villains, “Descendants 2” will revolve around the offspring of Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Jafar, the Evil Queen, Ursula, Captain Hook and Gaston. Returning are stars Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Sofia Carson and Mitchell Hope, and new cast members include China Anne McClain, Thomas Doherty, Dylan Playfair and Anna Cathcart.

Kenny Ortega is director, executive producer and choreographer. Scribes Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon are back as writers, and exec produced with returning EP Wendy Japhet.

The “Descendants 2” mega-premiere is a prime example of Disney’s historical corporate synergy. Most recently, the company also announced “Marvel’s Inhumans,” a new series that will debut this fall on ABC, along with a global IMAX preview.

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