By: Daniele Alcinii and Ryan Tuchow
The Walt Disney Company’s much-anticipated SVOD Disney+ has commissioned a six-part docuseries following students in the School of American Ballet titled On Pointe. No launch date for the series has been announced yet.
Produced by Beverly Hills-based prodco Imagine Documentaries and New York prodco Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), On Pointe is a year-long portrait of athletes at the school who are beginning their journeys to become professional dancers. Cameras follow each young dancer through their audition process, training schedules and preparation for New York City Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker on the Lincoln Center stage. The docuseries also goes beyond the ballet facility’s walls and gives a fly-on-the-wall look into each athlete’s personal life, as they navigate the challenges of home and education.
Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein serve as executive producers alongside DCTV’s Matthew O’Neill, who is also the showrunner. The series is produced and directed by Larissa Bills.
On Pointe joins Disney+’s growing slate of original non-fiction content, which includes Disneynature documentary Dolphin Reef, Disney Television Studio’s six-part docuseries Pick of the Litter; the feature-length doc and 52 episode series about The House of Mouse titled A Day at Disney; cooking contest Be Our Chef; student competition series Shop Class; aspirational program Marvel’s Hero Project; and Kristen Bell-led musical series Encore.
As the SVOD gears up to launch, Walt Disney Pictures is also beginning production on a Disney+ original film Safety, a drama inspired by the true story of former Clemson University football player Ray McElrathbey, who has to balance faith, family and his dreams of athletic fame. Directed by Oscar nominee Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained), written by Randy McKinnon (Where the Water Runs) and Nick Santora (Scorpion, The Fugitive at Quibi) and produced by Mark Ciardi (Invincible), the movie will wrap production in mid-November.
Disney+ is launching in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands on November 12, followed a week later with roll outs in Australia and New Zealand on November 19.