Star is a hub within the Disney+ streaming service for television and film content intended for an adult audience. The hub is available in a subset of countries where Disney+ is operated. Star includes content from ABC Signature, 20th Television, FX Networks, Freeform, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures. Star launched on February 23, 2021, in Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. It will expand to more markets later that year. In Latin America, a separate Star+ streaming service will be launched instead.
During Investor Day, it was announced that shows from Disney-owned networks such as Hulu and FX would be exclusively distributed in multiple international markets through Star as Star Originals.
The "Star" brand originated as a Hong Kong-based satellite broadcaster which operated under that name starting in 1991, and had been acquired by News Corporation in 1993. After 2009, the Star brand was mainly restricted to the now separately-owned Star China Media, as well as Star India, which operates primarily in India but also distributes Hindi-language programming worldwide. Star India (and the other remaining operations outside mainland China) were then acquired by Disney as part of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019.
During an earnings call on August 5, 2020, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that Disney planned to launch a new international, general entertainment service under the Star brand name in 2021, slated to feature more mature content than what was offered on Disney+. The plan superseded a previously announced international expansion of Disney-controlled American streaming service Hulu, which has only expanded outside the United States to Japannote . Chapek argued that the Hulu brand was not well-known outside of the United States, along with "Star" being a much more marketable service mark worldwide.
List of Star Originals:
- Big Sky (All markets except Canada)
- Dollface (Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Sweden and Norway)
- Filthy Rich (Italy, Belgium)
- Genius (season 3) (All markets except Canada)note
- Godfather of Harlem (Italy)
- grownish (select markets)
- High Fidelity (Portugal)
- Next (2020) (Italy, United Kingdom, and Ireland)
- Love, Victor
- The Orville
Tropes associated with STAR:
- All-Star Cast: The service's advertising in Europe emphasizes the big star names of the films that it streams (also fitting its name in the process).
- Bowdlerization: Family Guy and American Dad! use the broadcast versions of the shows as opposed to the DVD cuts, meaning that most profanity is bleeped and various scenes are cut down or changed. In Family Guy's case, it also means that any Extra-Long Episode (such as "And Then There Were Fewer" and the Star Wars parodies) is instead shown in the syndicated, 2-part versions.
- Darker and Edgier: The service streams Disney properties (particularly Fox acquisitions) that the other parts of Disney+ can't, for adult audience reasons. For instance, among Marvel Comics properties, Deadpool, Logan and Helstrom now call it home instead of the dedicated Marvel section of Disney+.
- Late Export for You: Some shows billed as Star Originals, including shows from Hulu like Love, Victor, Solar Opposites and Helstrom, have a weekly episode release schedule starting with the first episode being released when Star was added to Disney+, even when those shows have already released full seasons on Hulu.