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Disney+ Taps Older Franchises With New Simpsons Short, Rumored Doogie Howser Reboot

By James Brumley – Apr 9, 2020 at 1:25PM

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The streaming service now boasts 50 million customers, validating it as an investment-worthy distribution channel for Walt Disney.

Walt Disney (DIS 4.44%) is committing more content to its streaming service, perhaps in an effort to build a customer base while many people are stuck at home. On Thursday, the Disney+ Instagram account indicated a new animated Simpsons short would be made viewable on Friday. That news follows reports from Wednesday suggesting the entertainment giant is developing a rebooted version of the '80s and '90s sitcom hit Doogie Howser, M.D.

The new Simpsons-based short, Playdate With Destiny features Bart Simpson's younger sister Maggie, who will be featured in another short film called The Longest Daycare also slated for availability on Disney+ later this month. The Longest Daycare was released in 2012, and nominated for an Academy Award. Playdate With Destiny was created to be shown in conjunction with this year's theatrical release of Pixar's Onward. The coronavirus outbreak that shuttered most theaters, however, has forced the industry to creatively rethink how it distributes and leverages content.

Woman holding a television remote pointed at a streaming TV options.

Image source: Getty Images.

The Simpsons television show first aired in 1989 and is now in its 31st season. It became a Disney franchise when Walt Disney acquired Fox last year.

The Simpsons may not be the only '90s hit show Walt Disney is hoping makes Disney+ more marketable. While not confirmed by Disney, Variety reported on Wednesday that a refreshed version of Doogie Howser, M.D. may be in the works. This time around, the main character is said to be a 16-year-old female doctor living in Hawaii.

The Disney+ subscriber count just reached 50 million, justifying an investment in more content for its service.

James Brumley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short April 2020 $135 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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