Whatever promise streaming services once offered is not just dead, it has been replaced by existential dread. Viewers no longer have to only worry their favorite films and TV shows will get pulled from sites at month’s end. They now have to worry new, finished films and TV shows will never see the light of day. Warner Bros. shelving the completed Batgirl film was not an isolated incident. It was a harbinger of things to come. Disney+ canceled its The Spiderwick Chronicles series before it could debut, despite the fact it was already completed.
The only good news was another studio or platform could ultimately bring it to the small screen. And happily, in this increasingly rare case, that has come to pass. The Roku Channel has “landed the exclusive, premiere U.S. rights to The Spiderwick Chronicles.” Roku will release the now-saved The Spiderwick Chronicles series in early 2024.
We first learned about Disney+’s decision not to release its live-action The Spiderwick Chronicles show in August. It’s based on the children’s fantasy novel series from Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. All eight episodes—starring Christian Slater, Jack Dylan Grazer, Lyon Daniels, Noah Cottrell, Joy Bryant, and Mychala Lee—are totally finished. But in 2023, that simply doesn’t matter much of the time. In this case, Disney+ treated The Spiderwick Chronicles as a write-off, as it continues to service investors at the sad cost of creatives and fans.
The good news is that, unlike Batgirl, this show had a chance to live again. It was developed at Disney but comes from Paramount Television Studios and 20th Television. And these studios worked to find a new streaming home for The Spiderwick Chronicles. We’re glad it will appear on The Roku Channel. In 2008, we saw a movie version of The Spiderwick Chronicles, but a series will allow us to journey even deeper into the magical world. As mentioned, The Spiderwick Chronicles series will release on The Roku Channel in early 2024.
Of course, despite this saving, The Spiderwick Chronicles series might not be available for good. Even shows and movies that do make it to streaming don’t always stay there very long. That’s the complete opposite of what streaming seemed to be offering not too long ago. But, at least for the previously canceled The Spiderwick Chronicles series, there’s a happy ending for now.
Originally published on August 28, 2023.