What Does All the Disney+ “In Development” Talk Actually Mean?


It seems like every day blogs are going on about this or that property rumored to be “in development” for Disney+. I think the list for what isn’t “in development” in shorter than the alleged “in development” list is. But what exactly does the term mean and does that mean there will be a show?

The short answer. No.

Having something “in development” can be anything from a discussion about possibly doing a project all the way up to it’a actually green-lit and it moves into pre-production territory.

What does the term really mean?

“In development” can mean so many different things, but it doesn’t mean an approved project. We don’t get too excited about any announcements about “maybe,” “possibly” with a project until they start making announcements like production teams, casting or even just showing up in some kind of data base.  Prior to that it’s all just talk and pitch. Even when projects get green-lit and move on that doesn’t mean they will actually get finished and aired.

One thing we did hear from Bob Iger in regards to shows is that Disney is planning on paring back to make sure they are only focused on moving projects forward that the intend to air. We’ve already had some big announcements on projects that ended up getting shelved and they were further along. Like Josh Gad’s Muppets Live Another Day,  Book of Enchantment and the new Lizzie McGuire show.

There’s a reason why the term “stuck in development Hell” exists. Often properties will get optioned by a company and never go anywhere. Or rumors of a pitch or treatment will leak and it will be all over the internet that ____ is “in development” at Disney+.

I just want to clarify, as someone who actually had projects optioned, don’t get too excited about “in development” projects until you get official announcements, casting, etc. Just last March, Collider talked about how there were 50 shows scripted and 50 shows unscripted but “in development” and even “scripted” doesn’t always mean it’s going forward, although it’s more likely.

Keep this all in mind when we, or other blogs, talk about “in development” shows or films. Also keep in mind Iger said they were going to focus more on shows that they actually intend to produce. We’ll know what’s happening for sure when we get official word. But remember even that can change.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Source: Collider, Experience



Disney has been a big part of my life for years--from family trips to WDW, at a very young age, to growing up on Disney classics, TV, and movies. I've been successfully running social media and websites since 2010. I'm a co-host the YouTube channel Clownfish TV as well as the podcast/ Youtube Pirates and Princesses (PNP) channel. I'm also a former contributor and acting social media manager (built it from the ground up with my husband) at The Kingdom Insider. Certified art teacher and mom! Opinions are all mine.