The TV series inspired by the praised 2018 movie Love, Simon is moving from Disney+ to the Disney-controlled Hulu streaming service. The half-hour comedy, which will be re-titled Love, Victor after its protagonist, will debut in June, LGBTQ Pride month.
The series, from This Is Us executive producers/co-showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who wrote the movie, and 20th Century Fox TV, just wrapped production on its 10-episode first season. Hulu brass appear bullish on the show and have already commissioned a writers’ room to start exploring stories for a possible second season.
Hailed for its LGBTQ inclusivity, the 2018 Love, Simon, based on Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”, is a coming-of-age film about Simon, a closeted gay teen growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta.
The series centers on Victor (Michael Cimino), a new student at Creekwood High School, the high school featured in the movie, on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city, and struggling with his sexual orientation.
Love, Victor’s move from Disney+ to Hulu mirrors a similar relocation from Disney+ to Hulu of another series based on a movie, High Fidelity, headlined by Zoë Kravitz. Both involve realistic portrayal of issues faced by young adults that may not be appropriate for families to watch with their young kids, something that has become imperative for a Disney+ program.
Love, Victor depicts alcohol use, parents’ marital issues and sexual exploration. At Hulu, it will join several other comedic series with drama elements about teems in high school, including fellow Hulu originals PEN15 and Looking For Alaska and Freeform’s Grown-ish, which streams on Hulu.
There have been some growing pains but Disney+ has started to firm up its programming brand as a place for family-friendly fare, differentiating itself from the more adult-oriented Hulu. As a result, shows that are considered more mature than what Disney+ would feel comfortable programming, are being shifted to Hulu. At Disney+, 20th TV, part of Disney TV Series, has a Turner & Hooch series based on the popular movie.
Disney has tackled topics of identity and sexuality in a family setting. All seasons of Andi Mack, which made history as Disney Channel’s first series featuring a gay character, are now available on Disney+.