Disney+ chases Pick of the Litter docu-series

Disney is adapting a guide dog feature into a six-part series, and making Shook, its first original scripted show for YouTube.
August 22, 2019

Expanding its unscripted slate, upcoming SVOD Disney+ is developing KTF Films’ 2018 award-winning documentary Pick of the Litter into an original six-part docu-series of the same name for kids and families.

In each half-hour episode, the show follows one puppy on its journey to become a guide dog for the blind. As a series, Pick of the Litter will go deeper into the stories of the service animals, their trainers and their human companions. ABC Studios, a division of Disney Television Studios, is producing.

The show is executive produced by the documentary’s co-directors and co-producers Don Hardy and Dana Nachman (who also wrote the film). They are the founders of the doc’s Los Altos, California-based prodco KTF Films. The Disney+ project marks the first time Hardy and Nachman have worked on a TV series.

Mary Celenza (Face Off), Josh Braun (Wild Wild Country) and Dan Braun (Echo in the Canyon) are also executive producing. The hour-and-20-minute feature premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival last year, won the Audience Award at Cinequest Film Festival and was an official selection at Toronto’s Hot Docs fest. Following its theatrical run, Netflix picked it up for streaming.

The new docu-series joins previously announced Disney+ unscripted shows such as Disneynature feature film Dolphin Reef; cooking competition Be Our Chef; student competition series Shop Class; aspirational program Marvel’s Hero Project; and Kristen Bell-led musical series Encore. Pick of the Litter will be available on Disney+ in the US within the first year of the SVOD’s launch, which is November 12.

In related news, Disney has greenlit Shook, a new hip-hop dance-based short-form series that will premiere on Disney Channel’s YouTube channel on September 28.

Currently filming in Los Angeles, the scripted, single-cam series is produced by DBP Donut. The prodco is owned and operated by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass (Paddleton, Wild Wild Country, Room 104), who are also executive producing.

Shook stars actress, singer and dancer Sofia Wylie (Andi Mack, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series) as a teenager who uses street dance as a stepping stone to become a professional dancer. The series is Disney Channel’s first foray into original scripted content for its YouTube channel. To date, its YouTube channel has three million subscribers and 1.4 billion views.

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.



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