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November 19, 2019

The Wide World of Disney+

Look for these three new series on the streaming service:

Mara Reinstein
  • The Mandalorian

    Images Courtesy Disney +
  • High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

    Images Courtesy Disney +
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum

    Images Courtesy Disney +

The Mandalorian

Introduced to much fanfare in April at the annual Star Wars convention, the first live-action Star Wars series is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. (So, no, the story does not coincide with the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.)

Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) stars as a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. "It's a great example of taking a character and worlds that have not been explored before in the universe and finding a way to tell the story over eight episodes," says Disney+ senior vice-president of content Agnes Chu. She notes that writer–executive producer Jon Favreau developed the series' $100 million "cutting-edge" technology.

Cast members portraying the all-new characters include Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

Sorry, girls — no Zac Efron this time around. With meta references and fourth-wall transgressions galore, this 10-episode scripted mockumentary is set at the same "real-life" East High where the original 2006 Disney Channel movie was filmed.

It follows a new set of students (played by Joshua Bassett, Olivia Rodrigo, Sofia Wylie and Kate Reinders) as they count down to the opening night of their school's first production of — what else? — High School Musical.

"People are going to be delighted by how fresh it is," Chu says of the show from creator–executive producer Tim Federle. "You don't have to be familiar with the original films to love this, and the people who do love the film will love this even more."

The World According to Jeff Goldblum

Over a dozen episodes, actor Jeff Goldblum travels the country on this National Geographic reality series to examine familiar aspects of life — such as sneakers, tattoos, denim and ice cream — and reveals their connections to science, history and people.

"He's someone who is amazed at all the wonder in the world that we take for granted," Chu explains. "So the series embodies a lot of the attributes and values that are synonymous with both National Geographic and his name."

National Geographic Global Networks president Courteney Monroe and her team brought the project to Chu when it was in development. Goldblum is already part of the Disney family, having played the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok and worked with the studio in other capacities.

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 11, 2019

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