Disney Television Studios has launched a major rebranding of its three studios, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 TV Studios and ABC Studios/ABC Signature. The move comes nearly 18 months after Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of key 21st Century Fox assets and seven months after the Disney-owned film companies — 20th Century Fox Studios and Fox Searchlight Pictures — dropped “Fox” in January to become 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.
ABC Studios and its cable/streaming subsidiary ABC Signature, led by president Jonnie Davis, will merge into one studio entitled ABC Signature. Fox 21 Television Studios, led by president Bert Salke, will be renamed Touchstone Television. 20th Century Fox Television, led by president Carolyn Cassidy, will become 20th Television. Because they are all part of Disney TV Studios, the divisions also all dropped “studios” from their titles.
Touchstone Television is named after the Disney-owned television brand that was retired in 2007. The decision to bring back Touchstone Television as the new name for Fox 21, with a logo that still looks like the old Fox 21, branding is “an intentional blending of old and new,” an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.
The studios’ name changes are effective immediately and come complete with new logos and motion end cards, which will be used for all new episodes of Disney Television Studios programming going forward. Per Disney, “Library titles and episodes broadcast before the rebrand will remain unchanged.”
“Our new studio names and logos mark a new day for ABC Signature, 20th Television and Touchstone Television while honoring their rich histories and the creative power of The Walt Disney Company,” Disney Television Studios president Craig Hunegs said in a statement Monday. “Dana and I could not be more pleased with the first year of our three studios together as part of Disney Television Studios and we believe that with our powerhouse talent roster and exceptional studio teams, the best is yet to come.”
Disney’s ABC Signature, 20th Television and Touchstone Television produce hits like Grey’s Anatomy, This Is Us, 9-1-1, American Horror Story, Queen of the South, American Dad, Barkskins, Grown-ish and Little Fires Everywhere” among many other series. Combined, the three rebranded studios recently earned 47 Emmy nominations combined. (This is behind Netflix’s record 160 nominations.)
Disney Television Studios currently produces the No. 1 scripted series on 10 networks/platforms: Grey’s Anatomy/ABC, This Is Us/NBC, 9-1-1/Fox, American Horror Story/FX, Queen of the South/USA, American Dad/TBS, Barkskins/Nat Geo, Grown-ish/Freeform (adults 18-49, L+7) and Little Fires Everywhere/Hulu (first eight weeks). DTS also holds the No. 1 drama and comedy on ABC (Grey’s Anatomy (2.6) and Fox (9-1-1 (2.5).
You can see the new motion title here:
Editor’s note: The name changes seem bizarre to me, as though Disney got backed into a corner on the branding. They wanted to distance themselves from Fox, because Fox is still doing business as Fox News. They couldn’t say “20th Century” either, because obviously we’re in the 21st century, and have been for 20 years now. So here we are, and they’ve been cornered, trying to hold on to brand awareness but not being able to use any of the actual branding. If they followed this to its logical conclusion, nobody wants to be 20th at anything, so they’d have been left with just “Television’, but one has to draw the line somewhere. – ed.