The fanfare, logo backdrop and sweeping searchlights may remain but the emblematic 20th Century Fox name will now be consigned to entertainment history.
While it was no doubt seen as inevitable, it’s still not without a twinge of nostalgic regret that film and TV fans see Disney excise the 20th Century Fox brand from its television studio arm. Having already renamed the iconic movie studio to 20th Century Studios, and Fox Searchlight to just Searchlight back in January, Disney has now reduced 20th Century Fox Television to merely 20th Television.
Disney took over 20th Century Fox in 2019 as part of a major $71 billion deal to acquire the lion’s share of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
The other TV Studios that Disney owns have also been renamed, with ABC Studios and ABC Signature merging as ABC Signature and Fox 21 Television Studios adopting the Touchstone Television moniker - a nod to Disney’s previous Touchstone production wing which gave rise to the likes of Home Improvement and Boy Meets World. Touchstone was renamed to ABC Studios in 2007.
In a statement, Disney TV Studios president Craig Hunegs said, “Our new studio names and logos mark a new day for ABC Signature, 20th Television and Touchstone Television while honoring their rich histories and the creative power of the Walt Disney Company.”
The new logo and graphics will appear on new episodes of 20th Television TV series going forward while older titles, which have already aired before the re-branding, will maintain the former logo and name.
It’s thought one of the reasons for the alacrity in dropping all reference to Fox is Disney’s desire to distance itself from Murdoch’s Fox News which, along with Fox Entertainment, Fox Sports, were not included in the original deal and which remain under Murdoch’s Fox Corporation umbrella.
20th Century Fox was created in 1935 as a merger between Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Films. The film studio has produced some of the most popular and beloved films in Hollywood history including Star Wars, The Sound Of Music, Die Hard and Home Alone. The former 20th Century Fox TV Studio itself has also created some of the most recognised TV shows including The Simpson and Modern Family.
This news comes in a week that rumours about Disney no longer releasing 4K discs of the 20th Century Fox film back catalogue - or indeed its own library of live action movies - persisted among industry watchers.