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D23: You won't be able to binge-watch Disney+ shows when they launch

By Benjamin Bullard
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Eventually, Disney’s new trove of content in the making for the soon-to-launch Disney+ streaming service will accumulate into a big ball of back-to-back binge-watching fodder. But not at first.

That’s because the Mouse House reportedly won’t be adopting the Netflix model of dumping all of it shows’ episodes in one giant, season-long batch when they first release. Rather, Disney+ is allowing its creative forces to approach its shows more like Game of Thrones than Stranger Things, serving up a week-by-week slow drip for all of its series’ first-run episodes.

The Wrap reports that hugely anticipated Disney+ series like Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian and Marvel’s WandaVision will roll out one episode at a time, a fact first shared at D23 on Friday by High School Musical: The Musical: The Series creator and co-showrunner Tim Federle. A Disney+ representative later confirmed to The Wrap that the platform will apply that same week-by-week format to all of its episodic shows.

Disney hasn’t commented on the reasoning behind the decision, but allowing its series to unfold along the lines of more conventional network TV has well served a number of now-iconic shows, with Game of Thrones marking perhaps the most recent example. Letting a season follow an installment-based trajectory tends to rope online fans into a show’s built-in marketing strategy, as social media routinely lights up — sometimes for days on end — whenever a mic-dropping moment happens, leaving viewers hanging on to watch what happens next.

The Mandalorian will be among the platform’s launch shows when Disney+ finally goes live beginning Nov. 12. Just expect to budget eight weeks’ worth of patience, as the first season’s eight weekly episodes roll out one by one.

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