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Home > Entertainment News > Web Series News > Article > In with the old out with the new

In with the old, out with the new

Updated on: 29 December,2023 02:17 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

With Disney+ Hotstar set for a merger with JioCinema, sources say upcoming seasons of its popular series Aarya and Criminal Justice to remain unaffected; streamer, however, stops commissioning new shows

In with the old, out with the new

The fourth season of Criminal Justice is slated to roll early next year

For the past few weeks, all eyes in the entertainment industry have been on the merger between Disney+ Hotstar and JioCinema. It is heard that Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has signed a non-binding deal with Walt Disney Co, which includes the merger of the two streaming platforms. Buzz in the industry is that while the deal will be finalised by February-end, it will be put into effect only after April 2024. With this merger, JioCinema—which got a boost earlier this year when it secured the Indian Premier League (IPL) streaming rights for five years—is en route to establishing itself as one of the country’s top OTT platforms.

One wonders what the on-ground changes will be at both streamers. While JioCinema announced a strong slate of originals in late 2022, Disney+ Hotstar has built a wide library over the years. However, the latter took a beating when it lost the rights to stream HBO shows in India, in April. A production house representative, whose show has been commissioned by Disney+ Hotstar, reveals, “We have been told to go ahead with our show as expected. In my understanding, the producers, whose shows have been greenlit, won’t be affected. That said, the platform is not commissioning fresh shows at this stage.”  

Aarya, Criminal Justice and Koffee with Karan have been among the platform’s most successful offerings and shouldn’t be immediately affected by the deal. Word on the street is that the next season of the Sushmita Sen-starrer is in development, and Criminal Justice’s next edition is set to roll in early 2024. A Disney+ Hotstar insider breaks it down, saying, “In terms of operations, the platform has always been a facilitator instead of an active producer. That is coming handy in the current situation because the productions are running smoothly without much intervention from it. For instance, Special Ops’ new season is on floors and is unaffected by the change of hands.” 

What about the fate of the new series like Karan Johar’s production Showtime, or Raveena Tandon’s Karmma Calling? A source reveals, “These two are the platform’s tentpole shows, and the idea is to release them on priority. The release of some other important series is also being expedited.” It is being speculated that over time, Disney+ Hotstar will not be a separate entity. The source adds, “The domain name will cease to exist. The app will become a channel under the Jio umbrella, along the lines of what happened to Voot.”

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