Did Disney Exec Get the Axe Over ‘Mighty Ducks’ Series?
If you were following along with MickeyBlog last week, you may have seen our story about the surprising dismissal of Peter Rice who was recently brought on as the head of general entertainment content at The Walt Disney Company. The dismissal was said to have come during a meeting with Disney CEO Bob Chapek and many insiders are speculating regarding what happened behind the scenes that ultimately led to Rice’s dismissal.
New write-ups in both The Wall Street Journal as well as Awful Announcing suggest that Rice may have been let go over some unpopular decisions regarding renewing two Disney+ series.
According to sources, Disney insiders suggested that the renewal of both The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers and Big Shot may have served as a catalyst for Chapek’s decision to let Rice go, despite the fact that the exec recently renewed his contract into 2024. .
Both of the series struggled to gain an audience at Disney+. According to WSJ, A senior Disney official cited Mr. Rice’s decision to renew two struggling shows on the Disney+ streaming service—“The Mighty Ducks” and “Big Shot”—as examples of questionable deal-making. Both shows cost more than $50 million and neither had shown the type of success that merited additional seasons.”
As we previously reported here at MickeyBlog the future of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers was already in a precarious position given the fact that the main draw of the series, Emilio Estevez would NOT be returning for Season 2. May insiders at the time believed that Estevez leaving the project was down to Disney’s vaccination policy. Estevez spoke out at the time saying that he was not anti-vax but rather anti-bully, according to a piece in DEADLINE. Shortly thereafter, Josh Duhamel was rumored to be taking over the lead roll.
The other series renewal that apparently drew ire was Big Shots which follows a men’s college basketball coach Marvyn Korn (played by John Stamos) who takes over a high school girls basketball team.
Though Rice’s dismissal most certainly came down to a myriad of factors, as Awful Announcing points out, the fact that Rice was gunning for two sports-focused series (which are notoriously complicated and expensive to shoot) with budgets over over $50 million each may have tipped the scales. After all both shows weren’t as popular or regarded as highly as some of Disney+’s other projects.
This is a story that we will continue to follow closely. Readers are encouraged to keep checking back with us for further Walt Disney World news and updates!
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