Disney Channel’s original movie Descendants 2 will premiere simultaneously across five networks in a move to reach the widest possible audience, according to Disney/ABC Television Group.
The sequel to Descendants will air at 8 p.m. on July 21 on Disney Channel, ABC, Disney XD, Freeform and Lifetime. The multi-network debut follows the success of Descendants. It was the top cable TV movie of 2015, and it generated 12.2 million total viewers, making it the fifth-highest rated cable film of all time in the U.S.
Descendants 2 will also be available on-demand on those five networks’ digital platforms starting July 21 at 10 p.m.
“Descendants fans asked for more, and we’ve answered their call, with more ways to watch and more ways to engage with the next chapter in their favorite TV movie,” Ben Sherwood, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, said in a statement. “We’re combining the magic of Disney Channel content with the power and reach of our linear networks and digital platforms to ensure we’re everywhere our fans are all at the same time.”
In Descendants 2, the Villain Kids — Mal (Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson), Carlos (Cameron Boyce) and Jay (Booboo Stewart) — are adjusting to life in Auradon. But Mal cracks under the pressure to be royal, and she returns the Isle of the Lost. But she’s shocked to find Ursula’s daughter Uma (China Anne McClain), and her friends Harry (Thomas Doherty), who is Captain Hook’s son, and Gil (Dylan Playfair) who is Gaston’s son, have taken her place as ruler of the run-down island.
“The passion that fans—across every demographic and geographic landscape—have demonstrated for Descendants rivals anything we’ve seen since High School Musical,” Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a statement. “Sharing the new sequel movie across our far-reaching portfolio of TV networks and digital platforms is something only Disney can do – and we do it proudly.”
Descendants 2 is directed, executive produced and choreographed by Kenny Ortega (Descendants, High School Musical). Wendy Japhet (Descendants) also serves as executive producer, along with executive producers and writers Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts is also sponsoring the Descendants 2 TV premiere on Disney Channel, and launched a sweepstakes where fans can win a Descendants makeover and meet Carson and Boyce.
And Boyce, Carson, Cameron and Stewart will also make a special appearance at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards for the world premiere of the “Ways to Be Wicked” music video featuring never-before-seen Descendants 2 footage.
In addition, the Descendants 2 soundtrack will become available July 21 from Walt Disney Records, a new Descendants novel, “Rise of the Isle of the Lost” will debut May 23, and Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media will release a new Descendants 2 product line, including apparel, accessories, dolls and consumer electronics.