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DuckTales Is Almost Over

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DuckTales

Yesterday the hashtag #RenewDuckTales2017 started trending on Twitter. It was a valaint effort, but Collider editor Drew Taylor quickly threw cold water on the movement, revealing he has inside information that suggests DuckTales was cancelled a while ago and its staff has been scattered to the wind already.

According to Drew the offices have been shut for months and most of the key staff has moved on to other projects. That doesn’t mean a fourth season is impossible but it is very unlikely.

UPDATE: The news has been confirmed by Disney in this statement released to IGN:

“The talented creative team, led by Matt Youngberg and Francisco Angones, have delivered exceptional storytelling with uniquely reimagined characters for three seasons of 75 episodes and more than 15 shorts. While physical production has wrapped, DuckTales continues to be available daily on Disney Channels and Disney+ around the world and fans will get an epic season finale in 2021.”

Anyone surprised by this development probably hasn’t paid much attention to how Disney Channel and Disney XD operate. They are one of the remaining holdouts of the oldschool 65 Episode Rule, the one from the era of 80s syndication that states 13 weeks’ worth of weekday episodes is all you need to run a TV cartoon into infinity, and anything more is just gravy.

The thing about this is that syndication and weekday stripping isn’t nearly the force it was in the 80s and 90s. Between the modern marathon format cable uses and the rapid takeover of on-demand entertainment through streaming, the kind of appointment TV that the 65 Episode Rule was formulated for seems to be all but dead. Yet Disney has stuck to the Rule to this day, for reasons unclear to us. The only exceptions seem to occur when a series reaches iconic status, like Phineas and Ferb. The original DuckTales is another example, holding the Disney Afternoon record at 100 episodes.

Ironically, the new DuckTales just hit 65 with the Christmas episode, and there will be a few more episodes released in early 2021, so it did manage to break the barrier…but not by much. Three seasons is the limit at Disney.

But the spirit of the Disney Afternoon isn’t dead yet…Point Grey Pictures, Seth Rogen’s production company, is working on a Darkwing Duck revival for Disney+. It’ll be a while before we see anything from it, however.

1 COMMENT

  1. I didn’t know we were that close to the end. Supposedly, at least when I asked Frank Angones during a signing as well as an audience member during the panel, they would address the issue of the nephews’ absent dad as well as Webby’s missing parents some time before the series end. So far there has been no hint at doing that sadly.