When Disney announced its intention to acquire media assets from 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, some producers and higher-up within these Fox subsidiaries changing hands who felt they had a right to be concerned. After all, some Fox outfits like FX specialize in “edgy,” mature and boundary-pushing television content.
Things got to a head when Disney CEO Bob Iger made a call to Fox Television producer Ryan Myrphy, where the latter made his case regarding the potential Disney-Fox tie up by asking if he has to “put Mickey Mouse in American Horror Story” sometime. Iger’s answer was thankfully reassuring.
Fox programs at a glance could never be farther in tone and audience than the “family-friendly” House of Mouse. Gary Newman and Dana Walden, co-chairs of the Fox TV Group, declared during the company’s TCA session that the question of content will not be decided until the deal is finalized.
Considering that the Disney-Fox acquisition deal must first be scrutinized and set in stone, usually taking over a year, maybe two, then for the moment the Fox subsidiaries part of the transaction will be conducting “business as usual.” And that means continuing to produce their popular boundary-pushing shows without fail.
Newman also show perceptiveness in pointing out how even Disney has subsidiaries dealing in “adult-oriented” content. Television-wise, ABC has been home to more mature fare under the Disney umbrella, from Agents of SHIELD to the Shondaland productions of Shonda Rhimes, who recently left the network to produce shows for Netflix.
“Bob Iger was pretty clear…that he loves our brand,” noted Newman. “He’s excited about FX and the FX brand… I think there is room for many different types of programs once the company moves to Disney.” He notes that FX content widely ranges from mainstream-fit, to cable, to digital streaming.
Even Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is pretty chill about how he thinks Disney is going to deal with the craziness that goes on in his animated shows. Thus far he doesn’t think the House of Mouse will insist he do any “toning-down” of the outrageous nature of Family Guy.
MacFarlane also got a call from Bob Iger, which he described as a great positive where his show is concerned. While he might be shocked if Disney did take down Family Guy for being incongruous with its own content, in his opinion such a course of action is not likely.