Disney Branded Television has announced BUNK’D Season 6, The Witchverse animated series, and a live-action Zorro series. Read on as we dive more into each one of the announcements.
BUNK’D SEASON 6
BUNK’D Season 6 will premiere on Disney Channel in 2022. BUNK’D, which recently marked 100 episodes, has consistently been a stand-out hit for the channel.
Series regulars Miranda May (Lou), Trevor Tordjman (Parker), Mallory James Mahoney (Destiny) and Israel Johnson (Noah) will return for the new installment set at a dude ranch in the Wild West. They will be joined by new cast members Shiloh Verrico (“Country Comfort”) as Winnie, Luke Busey (“Cobweb”) as Jake, and newcomer Alfred Lewis as Bill.
Erin Dunlap will continue to serve as executive producer and showrunner of the series, with May also landing an executive producer role. As in previous seasons, May will continue to direct select episodes.
Reena Singh, senior vice president, Development and Current Series, Disney Branded Television, said, “‘BUNK’D’ has been a hugely successful series for Disney Channel, and we’re looking forward to another fun-filled season in an exciting new setting. With Erin Dunlap back as showrunner and our outstanding returning cast members on board, our viewers can look forward to unexpected adventures with their Camp Kikiwaka favorites as they tackle new challenges in the Wild West.”
Season six, titled BUNK’D: Learning the Ropes, begins as Lou, Parker, Destiny and Noah arrive at the soon-to-be Kikiwaka Ranch in Dusty Tush, Wyoming, where Lou must convince the surly owner, a.k.a. “The Marshal” to officially sell the property to her.
In the meantime, counselors Noah and Destiny have their hands full with the newly-arrived campers, including Bill, a no-nonsense descendant of famous cowboy Bill Pickett who prefers roping cattle to hanging out with friends; Winnie, a fearless girl who’s earned the nickname “Wild Winnie” by breaking the rules and occasionally blowing things up; and Jake, a laid-back, easy-going boy who also happens to be a video-gaming fanatic.
BUNK’D originally premiered on July 31, 2015, as a spinoff of the hit comedy series Jessie (2011-2015) and has run for five seasons. The series revolves around the hilarious adventures of the campers and counselors at Maine’s rustic Camp Kikiwaka.
BUNK’D is executive produced by Dunlap, May, David Booth, Valerie Ahearn and Eric Schaar and was created by Pamela Eells O’Connell.
Disney Branded Television is also in development with nine-time Emmy Award-winning international animation studio Baobab Studios on The Witchverse, an all-new animated anthology series based on Baobab Studios’ acclaimed, award-winning interactive experience Baba Yaga.
Working closely with Baobab Studios, Disney Television Animation is overseeing the development of the project for Disney+. Eric Darnell, writer and director of Baba Yaga, Madagascar and Antz and Baobab’s co-founder and chief creative officer, will executive-produce the series.
The Witchverse is a global celebration of the international cultural phenomena of witches, their magic and their universal connection to nature. Each witch-i-sode will comically explore and upend common misconceptions surrounding global witch mythology and lore from a mélange of cultures and perspectives around the world.
Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television, said, “We’re inspired by Baobab’s bold creative vision that redefines, deepens and expands storytelling about witches in a way that is transformative and entertaining and filled with humor and heart.”
Three-time Emmy Award-winning VR experience and animated short film Baba Yaga, which serves as inspiration for The Witchverse, is a contemporary portrayal of the Eastern European legend Baba Yaga, an enigmatic witch who uses her powers to stop villagers whose settlement encroaches upon her enchanted forest.
The immersive experience is brought to life with illustrative 2D pop-up animation, as well as hand-drawn and stop-motion styles and explores themes of empowerment and environmentalism. Baba Yaga will serve as a starting point for episode one of the new series.
“Disney is the ideal partner to be working with us on one of our most creatively ambitious storytelling endeavors,” said Eric Darnell, co-founder and chief creative officer for Baobab Studios.
“They uniquely have the ability to create entire new worlds like no one else on this planet, and in this collaboration, ‘Baba Yaga’ has the potential to be a breath of fresh air for everyone who loves fairytales, both young and old, from different cultures.”
And last but certainly not least, Disney Branded Television and Wilmer Valderrama (Encanto) are in development on a reinvention of the iconic Disney action-adventure-western series Zorro, with Valderrama executive producing and starring as Don Diego de la Vega and his dashing swashbuckling alter ego, the masked horseman named Zorro.
The series in development is executive-produced by Gary Marsh, outgoing president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television, as part of his new multiyear production banner at Disney General Entertainment. John Gertz (The Mask of Zorro, The Legend of Zorro) of Zorro Productions, Inc., is also an executive producer.
Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television, said, “We’re reimagining this Disney classic as a compelling period piece, set in Pueblo de Los Angeles, but told in a very modern telenovela style — with richly drawn contemporary characters and relationships set against the action, drama, suspense and humor of the original, iconic Zorro.”
She continued, “Wilmer shares our commitment to reflect the interesting and rich diversity of the human experience and we look forward to delivering a culturally relevant and entertaining story with definitional characters that will connect with our viewers for generations to come.”
“Growing up, Zorro was the one character that made me, as a Latino, feel like I could be a hero. As an adult and a storyteller, I have a responsibility in the stories that I help bring to life. To partner with Gary and Disney to bring Zorro back into the family after 60 years and be a part of the legacy for other children to know they too can be the heroes of their own stories is a dream come true,” said Wilmer Valderrama.
Set in early California, the Zorro television series followed a masked avenger, the alter ego of the mild-mannered Don Diego de la Vega, as he defended the poor and acted as the scourge of military tyrants on his black stallion, Tornado. Zorro’s trademark was the ragged “Z” symbol, which he slashed with his sword. A total of 78 original episodes aired from 1957-59. Four hour-long episodes were later filmed for airing on the Sunday night Disney television show, and episodes of the half-hour show were compiled into the theatrical features The Sign of Zorro and Zorro the Avenger.